Off in Salt Lake
We had a missed offside in Real Salt Lake that resulted in a goal for Los Angeles Football Club. The video is pretty clear, on the final shot the attacker is ahead of the ball and should have been flagged offside. What can we do to avoid this happening again?
This is a difficult offside when you look at the play as a whole, a simple offside when you look at it by itself. There is a very tight decision just six yards and a moment earlier, in which the attacker's knee may be offside, but just too close to call from the best angles we have. The final offside is clear, the attacker is ahead of the ball.
Had the assistant been able to be in position for the second decision, no doubt they would have flagged the correct decision. However, in watching the movement from the first to the second offside decision there is a momentary delay in getting into the best position. Almost if he was not ready for the overlapping player's run. The overlapping player is a clue to where the attack is headed and the assistant needs to be ready to move at their top speed to get to the second phase of this play. Could the AR have been quicker in getting to the second decision? It is hard to tell, but it shows the importance of reading the movement of the play and being ready for the next phase. This is an unfortunate miss, but emphasizes the importance of work rate and being in the best position.
Assisting in New York and Houston
Two plays worth looking at in regards to assistant referee assisting with match control.
The first clip comes from Yankee Stadium and it looks to be slight contact on the attacker. But there is more to this play. Before raising the flag he needs to remember that #3 has already been cautioned and this foul is a case of stopping a promising attack, which would mean a second caution and send off. Is there contact? Is it a foul? The contact happens at the feet, although slight, it does trip up the attacker. This is a foul and the AR has the best view and is in credible position to assist with this call. You can also notice that he makes eye contact with the referee first and in the end the whistle and flag come together. The referee correctly sends off the player for his second caution able offense. The flag on this play supports the referee's call.
A different sort of help in Houston where the assistant does not raise his flag for a tackle at the edge of the penalty area. However, before deciding whether to assist in a visual manner, he first needs to "check in" with the referee. The AR is in a good position to see the location of the contact, (just outside the area) but before getting involved he looks at the referee who is equidistant from the incident and has as good a view. This makes him communicate with the referee in a non visual manner (no flag) so that the referee can make the final decision, in this case the referee does not feel it is enough for a foul and allows play to continue. A flag here would have tied the referee's hands for something he can see just as well as the assistant. The AR does not have a more credible view than the referee.
Call of the Week #1 - Winner - Kyle Atkins
Call of the Week #2
Two flags not raised are the choices for Call of the Week #2. First Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho does well to keep his flag down as the defender steps up a moment too late. In Houston Cameron Blanchard concentrates on a far side offside, where the attacker is in his own half of the field when the ball is played. Which one is better?