Little more than an hour into the Galaxy's game against the Colorado Rapids in Denver on Wednesday night, Los Angeles striker Carlos Ruiz could be seen sprawled on the turf, with referee Ricardo Salazar standing over him.
Nearby, Colorado and U.S. national team defender Pablo Mastroeni was angrily demanding that Ruiz be given a yellow card.
Salazar complied, and when Ruiz questioned the call, Salazar made a forward-thrusting motion with both hands, indicating that Ruiz had dived.
Replay showed that Mastroeni had not fouled Ruiz, and that the Guatemalan international had either stumbled or purposely fallen. "Diving" was the call on the official game report.
Ruiz, Major League Soccer's top goal scorer this season and its best finisher for each of the last two seasons, has long had a reputation for going down too easily, for taking full advantage of the slightest contact.
Today, he goes into the Galaxy's match against D.C. United with nine goals in 12 MLS games this season, and 56 goals in 74 regular-season matches during his three seasons in the league.
His talent is immense, but the accusations of diving persist, and it was something that Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid was obliged to comment on recently.
"If you've played this game, you know when you get hit a little bit and when you don't," he said. "It's something we've talked about. It's not so much Carlos Ruiz as it is the difference between the South American, or Latin, style of play versus the European style of play.
"Free kicks are a very big part of the game in Central and South America, and drawing fouls in and around the box is an important offensive element to a team's game. Referees call more of that in those countries.
"It gets called less so in European games and as a result players don't try to draw that foul as much. The difficulty in MLS is one week you'll have a referee who will give you that call, and the next you'll have one who doesn't, so players go back and forth.
"But Carlos, in terms of diving or flopping, I think over the years here it has gotten much less [frequent]. I'm not going to say 100% of the time, but I think the majority of the time when Carlos goes to the ground, contact has been made."