It is not often that we need to talk about what to do while waiting for a simple throw-in, but the wide angle camera captured an incident in Orlando that none of the crew saw. Was the outcome correct? This week we also need to look at a missed offside due to movement to the left near the penalty area, fortunately it only resulted in a corner kick. Finally we go to the NASL for an interesting decision, is it offside or handball? What should you do?
Only three matches this week in MLS due to the international break. PRO assistant referees used the break to meet in Colorado for fitness testing and classroom work. Special guest was English Premier and World Cup Final Assistant Referee Darren Cann. A portion of his presentation on Match Preparation is included here.
Last week we presented a What Should You Do? from the game Chicago v FC Dallas that the majority of you got wrong. What!? Yes, 77% of you answered incorrectly. Better read below to see where you went wrong.
Keeping your eyes on play behind the referee's is one of the more difficult task assistant referees do. This week there were several incidents that occurred out of the view of the referee. Could or should these have been spotted by the AR? Should the trailing AR been able to help? Regardless it is important that assistants recognize certain fouls as serious foul play or violent conduct and get that information to the referee.
Usually, its not worth getting annoyed at the announcers of MLS matches, but this one got under my skin. Listen to the announcer in NY Red Bulls v Toronto as he erroneously states that the referees had made a mistake calling offside on Toronto's potentially game winning goal. Then, after seeing multiple replays, realizes that Toronto had a player in offside position who clearly interfered with an opponent, so he reverses himself (props for that) and states that it is the correct call. Finally, to add one more layer of unintentional insult, congratulates the - "good camerawork" - on the play.
As we try to improve in assisting in match control and identifying whether there is misconduct, we present one clip where there is a tackle in front of the assistant. What action should you take? What information do you need to provide the referee? What is the correct outcome?
A breakdown in teamwork (all 4 officials) is presented as a reminder that you must stay current with law and correct application.
Of course, Call of the Week #11, because every week there is always at least one AR who is above standard.
This week we feature a decision on handling flagged by the assistant referee. Was it really handling and should he have left this call up to the referee? We are asking for your vote and comments so that we can all get a good understanding of what is a deliberate hand ball.
Also, Seattle v Toronto produced a classic offside situation that is a good educational review of what it means to make a clear impact on an opponent.
Finally, with VAR coming to MLS in August, we are asking for your commentary on a crazy offside situation that happened in Australia's A-league semi-final, where VAR and the AR created controversy. What is the correct procedure for the AR to use in cases like this, with or without VAR in play?
This week in MLS we had some excellent decision that I want to point out for the amount of concentration and focus that was needed. They look easy to the untrained eye, but PRO assistant referees handle these type of decisions every week.
NASL has produced a highlight to look at this week as the NY Cosmos tried to pull off the old trick corner kick play and in the same match we will give the same AR some props for good movement to the left, which serves as a good reminder for all of us.
Finally, from Panama with love, an offside clip to vote on. Be careful. Look at it closely before committing to your decision and leave a comment of why you made your choice. Is there interfering with an opponent?
More on teamwork this week -- and there will probably wont be a break from that topic as a weekly trend for a while.
We have examples of great, good and poor teamwork, so we need to look at why some were better than others.
There will also be a spotlight shown on two offside decisions where the effort and skill of getting in proper position made for correct decisions.
Finally, check out the offside situation from Portland and Sporting Kansas City at the bottom of the page. Was the assistant correct to raise his flag or was this a deliberate play? Vote your opinion and leave the reason why in the comment section.
Another good week (zero KMI errors) is highlighted by assistance on a penalty kick decision, unusual because both assistants contributed, also, the importance of concentration for 90+ minutes and we have an answer from FIFA concerning the offside "ducking" incident from last week's Houston v NY Red Bulls match.
Don't miss viewing the offside call made in Real Salt Lake v Vancouver that had some strange distractions that had to be overcome to make it a candidate for Call of the Week #6.
This week we look at several situations where attackers are in an offside position and whether they are interfering with an opponent. Which raises the questions, if you duck out of the way of a shot can you still be offside? Yes, but maybe not.
Also, a couple of plays that serve as warning to not lose your focus.
This week we are going to examine how we can improve teamwork with the referees. Hopefully, the referees will read it and take it to heart. It is definitely something to bring up in your next pregame.
Your opinion is requested on two somewhat similar offside decisions where the assistant did not raise their flag. Should they have?
Finally, a look at a time in the match when assistants need to increase their level of concentration.
It was a bit chilly in Minnesota but that did not stop excellent performances by PRO assistant referees. In the warmer parts of the country it was also another good week. Hopefully that's the end of the snow and the orange ball for this season.
This week we highlight some very good offside decisions and will get nit picky on flag technique, ask for faster movement on the line and look at a boundary line call.