When is a player offside by two yards when he is actually onside? When the announcer says so, and is even convinced that video review will overturn a goal for this clear infraction. Worth a listen on the clip from Vancouver v Columbus, which is featured this week as one of our choices for Call of the Week. In fact, the three plays selected for Call of the Week have good lessons to be learned as they are good examples of top class decision making.
Two other interesting plays to analyze come from Chicago v DC United. One, which is a confusing offside decisions until you look closely, and a second shows a referee daring to ignore a PRO assistant referee's flag. How dare he....
How is this Offside?
A rather innocuous play happened in Chicago, a flag is raised for offside. No big deal until you watch the clip which starts with the goalkeeper and ends with a flag on the other half of the field. The panoramic view camera does confirm that the player in question was in an offside position when the ball was last played. This is not seen on the video, but trust me, he was. After careful consideration and review the PRO Politburo of Offside Decisions decided that this was indeed a correct decision. Watch the play, then answer the question, how is this offside? Reply in the comment section at the bottom of the page. The answer next week.
What Should You Do? Chicago Fire v DC United
Chicago Fire v DC United provide this week's column with a good play for What Should You Do? A simple cross goes to the back post where DC United's #10 Acosta is making a run. Although not seen in the video, Acosta was in a clear offside position when the cross was made. As you will see, the Chicago goalkeeper comes off his line to punch the ball out for a throw in. On this play the assistant referee raised his flag, but the referee over ruled him and gave the throw in. Was this correct or should the referee have accepted the AR's flag and given the restart for offside? What Should You Do?
Answer next week.
Call of the Week #28
Any of the these three plays would be worthy winners any of the previous weeks, but the competition this week is stiff. Good luck choosing.
Call #1 we like because it includes an offside decision, which on slow motion replay looks rather simple, but it is immediately followed up by a goal line decision. Both correct by U-17 World Cup bound Frank Anderson. During live play Anderson was caught slightly behind play for the goal line decision because the had to be in position for the offside call. It would be impossible to be on the goal line a second later, but since he was not sure that if the ball had crossed to goal line he did not guess. Which is PRO procedure for cases like this - Do not guess.
Call #2 we like because it makes the announcers look foolish. Supposedly, the attacker is two yards offside and video review will surely over turn this decision, but of course, Anthony Vasoli has seen it correctly, onside. In fact, the play is rather simple (although not easy) as the attacker is even with the second to last defender on the slight touch off the header. Either way, as part of Video Review protocol, the offside leading up to the goal was checked and confirmed correct.
Call #3 we like because Jeff Hosking never lost his concentration on a free kick that is taken quickly and then the rebound off the post his headed in. Free kicks are not a time to relax, as play can be restarted at any moment. Knowing that Toronto likes to employ this quick restart tactic should be part of your preparation and this play will not come as a surprise.