MLS Week #30 September 19-23

This week we look at some positioning and movement issues that will hopefully trickled down to every assistant referee in the program. Advice is given on how to better anticipate play and not get caught chasing the ball or the second to last defender.
We haven’t had a What Should You Do? question for a few weeks so we pulled a possible interfering with an opponent clip from the NY Red Bulls v Toronto for you to analyze.


There was an excellent offside decision made in Minnesota v Portland that should have resulted in a goal had the post not intervened. The positioning of the AR to make the initial offside decision was good, and it no doubt contributed to the correct decision. However, he was not ready for the next phase of play and immediately was left woefully chasing the play, too late to catch up.
This play has anticipation written all over it. When watching the clip look at the way the Minnesota defender who makes the long pass approaches the ball. Everything in his body language and posture says long ball. At the same moment look at the body position of our assistant referee…facing upfield. Now he must first, make the mental decision to keep the flag down, then send a signal to his torso and legs to turn in the opposite direction and finally to get moving. MN Quintero already has a 8 yard lead. If that happens to you, it is time to giddy up and go on the fastest horse you have.
Advice: Stay with the second to the last defender but keep an eye on the play. If you see a player scanning upfield for a team mate or his body language is saying long ball, anticipate and get square to the field, ready to push off your left foot and get to top speed. If you do get caught, work as hard as you can until you are back in position.

Movement - to the 4th official spot

Sometimes bad things happen. Like you pick up and unexpected injury. We have had it happen a couple of times this year and the ARs have either handed the flag to the fourth official or battled thru to the end.
Injuries come in many varieties, some hurt, others just slow you down. But once they start to impair your performance you need to weigh the risks of carry on. Handing the flag over to the fourth official is not a sign of failure but an admission that you are no longer able to perform at the high level required for the match. Yes, you are much better than the 4th official at your job, but not when you are injured.
This clip is an example of how an injury slowed the AR down to where he was still able to side step but could no longer sprint to make end line decisions Left nearly 16 yards behind, a goal of this incorrect corner kick could have affected the outcome of the game. It is a big risk and one that would be hard to defend when an abled bodied 4th official was present. (It was Ted Unkel…he would have been thrilled to take over.)
We want to make our advice clear, if you pick up an injury during a match and cannot perform your duties at the level expected let the fourth official step in.
(If a certified current PRO AR is working as AVAR, he may replace the AR before the match or at halftime)


What Would You Do? NY Red Bulls v Toronto

Is this an offside offence that you should flag?

What Would You Do? - NYRB v TOR
Offside - Interfering with an Opponent - Raise the flag
Offside - Interfering with Play - Raise the flag
No Offside

WINNER - CALL OF THE WEEK 29 - Felisha Mariscal

week 30.jpg


This week we point out two excellent decisions both from the same match on opposite ends.
First Ian Anderson correctly identifies the far side defender keeping CLB Zardes onside while also noting that the other CLB attacker who was offside, makes an attempt to play the ball, but it has no impact on an opponent. (He also does not touch the ball)
does not play the ball or interfere with an opponent
50 minutes later CJ Morgante also notes the far side defender as the STLO (Colorado seems to have a problem keeping a good defensive line) and keeps the flag down for an excellent chance that CLB fail to convert.

Anderson, Ian


Who had Call of the Week #30?
Ian Anderson - Columbus v Colorado
CJ Morgante - Columbus v Colorado