A through ball puts a player on a clear break away. The opposing goal keeper comes out of the 18 yard box to play the ball and bobbles it as the attacking forward is less than 2 meters away. To avoid turning over the ball, the goaltender picks it up with his hands. The call on the field is a direct free kick from the spot where the goalie picked up the ball. Should the goal keeper be given a red card for taking away a goal scoring opportunity?

USSF answer (August 18, 2011):
Yes, the goalkeeper has committed a direct-free-kick foul, but your scenario does not make a case for a send-off for denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. The dismissal for DG-H requires that, in the opinion of the referee, the ball would have gone into the net but for the handling. It sure doesn’t sound like that in your scenario. The referee should call the foul, award the direct free kick, and perhaps also a caution for unsporting behavior for the tactical foul.