Tuesday only had one positive moment for US soccer and it certainly wasn't in Trinidad and Tobago. It was our referee crew at the U-17 World Cup in India. Jair Maruffo, Frank Anderson and Corey Rockwell did very well in their first match - Iran v Germany. I have included the highlights in this week's review so you can enjoy the nice decisions that both Corey and Frank made during the game. Jair, made some good ones also, but this is the assistant referee's page. They have a second match on Saturday.
Only four matches in Major League Soccer this week, but they still provided us with one good learning moment and a couple of quality offside decisions. Oh, and only 24% of you got the What Would You Do? answer correct. What's up with that!?
That Moment When the Referee Needs Help
A counter attack with an incisive pass left the referee at a distance when the Minnesota attacker is one v one against the keeper in Atlanta. The keeper makes a desperate tackle, just outside the penalty area, completely missing the ball and takes down the player. No flag, no whistle, no good.
This is a play where the assistant referee needs to step out of their comfort zone and give the referee a flag for the foul. If you note the relative positions of both the officials at the moment of the tackle, the assistant referee is in a more credible position with a better angle than the referee. A flag here would no be seen as unexpected and would readily be accepted.
What should happen in a perfect world? The referee - at the moment a pass puts him far away - immediately say "help,help,help" to alert the AR that he is caught out of position. The assistant should then change his priorities to possible foul contact and expand his normal area of responsibility. On seeing the foul, make eye contact with the referee (in case he has regained a good position) and flag.
Even without any communication from the referee, the AR should anticipate this play, reading that there is a likely boundary line decision to be made.
There is no need for an immediate determination of any misconduct, as once play has stopped it can be discussed. In this case, whether it is denying of a goal scoring opportunity, which, by the way, it is.
The main learning point from this play is being mentally ready for those few moments when the referee needs, no, expects, your involvement and coming to their rescue.
Answer - What Should You Do? New England v Atlanta
This is not offside.
The majority of you missed this one. We took this play to the top to have it analyzed by several FIFA instructors and they agreed that the flag was correct to stay down.
Here are the considerations of why this incident is not offside:
- The attacker in the offside position does not impede the defender
- The goalkeeper is not impacted
- the attacker to the right was not in an offside position
- the ball is too high for the attacker in the offside position
- the attacker does not challenge for the ball
- The GK is fully concentrated on the ball.
The assistant referee should be able to see these considerations from his position and does not need to go to the referee for help. A lot can be gleaned from the in goalkeeper's body language and the way he approaches the cross. In most cases where there is a potential for impact, the goalkeeper's movement is affected, in this case there is no such affect. He has a clear path to the ball, no one is in his area of vision and there is no challenge for the ball.
The potential for a collision is a possibility, however at the professional level one would not expect this type of cross/challenge to fall in that category.
Winner - Call of the Week #30 - Gianni Facchini
Call of the Week #31
With only four matches to pick from the selection was not large, but the quality was still as good. Two no offside decisions that lead to goals. Who had the more difficult call. To be fair, you need to watch them in full speed, otherwise it looks so easy.