“I think sometimes you have to punish simulation,” he said. “The hardest thing is when it’s not consistent: When there’s a yellow card for one play that you think is a yellow and then on a similar play they don’t call it. Just consistency.”
There were several controversial plays during Sunday’s game, including a handball in the penalty box that wasn’t called against Atlanta United in the first half, and a penalty against Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in the second half in the penalty box that resulted in Sporting KC’s opening goal on a penalty kick by Benny Feilhaber in the 59th minute
“It wasn’t a penalty,” Martino said.
This weekend was the debut of VAR, which referee Chris Penso didn't use on either play. Martino didn't answer when asked if he was surprised Penso didn't review either play. Martino said the coaches were told not to mime the TV symbol that signifies a review, so he didn't.
Immediately after the game, Martino and Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes got into what looked like an argument. Martino said what they discussed will stay on the field. Asked again what they discussed, Martino said, “I said Kansas City was a really good team and Atlanta was a really good team.”