Week #2 March 9-10

The surf is the new turf in Orlando along AR1’s touchline and in Kansas City around the pitch. It is not grass anymore and until some recent pellet addition in Orlando was a hazard for slipping. (Hence the surfing…) Be ready.
This week we add a new column called “How the PRO’s do it” which contains a contribution from a former WC and PRO assistant referee. We’ll analyze some movement by ARs and have a clip from a USL match for you to analyze and decide What Would you Do?
It was a very good week for PRO ARs in all the matches of MLS, so we easily found three extra special decisions for you to pick as best of the week.


Orlando and Sporting Kansas City Touchlines

Both Orlando and Sporting Kansas City have installed turf outside the field of play. Bring appropriate foot ware if assigned to these locations.

Touchline - Sporting Kansas City

Touchline - Sporting Kansas City

Goal line - Sporting Kansas City

Goal line - Sporting Kansas City

The way the PRO's do it - Corner Kicks

How do PRO assistant referees mentally prepare themselves at corner kicks? What processes do they go thru so that they are ready to deal with the many offside possibilties? Here former FIFA and PRO AR Joe Fletcher gives some tips.

  1. Take inventory of who is in the goal area.

    1. Are defenders on the post?

    2. Is the GK off the goal line?

    3. Where are the attackers in the goal area?

  2. See if any teammate of the player taking the corner kick is coming short.

    1. yes, potential increases for offside decisions

    2. particular attention needs to be paid to the player who took the corner kick

  3. When a corner kick is taken / ball crossed directly into the penalty area:

    1. Play dictates your movement

      1. so on your toes

      2. ready to move quickly

    2. Good chance of multiple attacker touches, high level of focus as the ball has more people to deflect off of.

    3. With lots of bodies in the penalty area, be ready to communicate a law 12 foul (Referee might focus on the block of players at the top of the penalty area, having the AR view the goal area)

As a good example of this process in action, Joe comments on the actions of PRO AR Kyle Atkins on this corner kick in .
Kyle puts forth a perfect display on an offside decision at a short corner. First, he notices that a teammate of the player taking the corner kick comes short. The goalkeeper is set up off of his goal line. Kyle is obviously thinking "The player taking the corner kick is almost certain to be offside if his teammate touches & leaves the ball for him." Since he anticipates this happening, the decision is easy for Kyle to give. Bonus points for moving with the line of offside which is two quick shuffles to his left. Well done sir.

Movement and Speed

We are going to get picky here on some of the following incidents and the reason is to keep you on your toes and ask for the extra readiness and extra urgency it takes to be in the right positions. Can you do better in your next match to show the speed and bursts of energy to put you in the right spot every time?

RSL vs VAN - There are a couple points to make on this incident. First, this is not a delayed offside situation. There is not an imminent attack created because the ball is passed wide. If you have offside here, the flag should be raised as normal.
Secondly there does not appear to be any reactive burst of energy that is needed for this incident. The movement to follow the ball back to the keeper is correct as there is pressure on the ball - no problem here. But then, when the keeper makes a poor clearance, there is no sense of urgency as the defense is in a very poor position and so is the AR. The offside decision (correct) is made from a poor position because he has not recovered and, since he has decided to delay the flag, there is no immediacy to get to the next phase of play which is the goal line (7 yards behind).
Ultimately, all the decisions on this play are correct (except the delay) and we understand that sometimes it is nearly impossible to keep up with play when there is such a quick transition, however could you as the AR have done better? If the there had been more urgency in the movement after the keeper’s clear, would the AR been in a better position to then change direction and get a better look at the goal line?

NYC vs DC: The AR might have been frozen at the unexpected block as it deflects to Rooney and then the subsequent offside decision . He has not readjusted and turned to be square when that ball gets played. Could there be more readiness and quickness to readjust quickly to the new STLO on the 18? One quick adjustment to his left and he is perfectly even. The decision is correct, but this advice is for your next match. (Side note: Well done to both ARs on this match played on a kaleidoscope pattern.)

Positive Movement and Delayed Flag

This incident is a difficult one for the AR because it does create a supportable delayed offside flag. Not doubt this attacker get a good look at goal. Also it requires the AR to really move at full pace to catch up after the offside incident. That effort is what we like to see!
The flag is correct to come up when the imminent attack ends when the attacker slips and falls.
Why is this a correct usage of VAR delay:

  1. The attacker is in an offside position, but NOT in the clear and obvious range - it is actually very close…

  2. There is no doubt for the AR about the attacker being in an offside position

  3. Yes, it is an imminent goal scoring opportunity

    1. The attacker is headed directly towards goal

    2. The attacker is entering the penalty area – his first touch is actually just outside the penalty area and he takes it directly toward goal

    3. Time – The attacker is clearly ahead of any defenders

What Would You Do? Tulsa v Portland 2

Our first opportunity to hear from you about a decision on the field. You should add comments at the bottom of the page to support your vote on this play which comes from USL Tulsa v Portland2.
What would you do? Is this offside?

What Would You Do? - Tulsa v Portland2
Offside - Interfering with an Opponent
Offside - Interfering with Play
Offside - Gaining an advantage
No offside

Winner - MLS Call of the Week #1

Of course, it had to be Brian Poeschel in Colorado, I wonder how well he would have done if we removed the “i feel bad for him” votes.

Of course, it had to be Brian Poeschel in Colorado, I wonder how well he would have done if we removed the “i feel bad for him” votes.

Brian Poeschel - COL v POR


MLS Call of the Week #2

First choice is Felisha Mariscal in Seattle v Colorado on an incident that had a sniff of interfering with an opponent until you notice the far defender keeps SEA Morris onside. Otherwise a flag would have been expected.

Choice 2 is Corey Rockwell in Los Angeles v Portland where he keeps the flag down on the close offside decision and then shows good movement and speed by getting to the goal line.

Choice 3 is the first goal in Atlanta where Brian Dunn is in perfect position to see Martinez as even when the pass was made.

Felisha Mariscal

Corey Rockwell

Who had Call of the Week #2?
Felisha Mariscal - Seattle v Colorado
Corey Rockwell - LA Football Club v Portland
Brian Dunn - Atlanta v FC Cincinnati