Sure there are some 380+ games to go in the season, but the first 10 are in the bag and they were tucked away nicely. The first 20 assistant referees have laid down the level for those opening up their seasons in Matchday #2. No KMI errors, some quality tight decisions and one very good instance of teamwork that results in a correct send-off.
VAR "check completed" all offside decisions on goals including the correct denial of Seattle's goal vs LAFC. We want your opinion on the second goal at LA Galaxy and of course, who deserves to win The (insert sponsor name here) Call of the Week.
Come to the Rescue in Philadelphia
You know the scenario, long pass, referee gets caught behind, and the attacker gets fouled. It's what happened in Philadelphia v New England in the 22nd minute. Watching the clip, no doubt that there is a DOGSO foul, but during live play you can see there was some hesitation by the referee in going to his red card. Let's be honest, starting to reach for the shirt pocket instead of the back pocket sends a certain signal that even the players understand. However, the delay in handing out the misconduct was a result of the specific procedure that was discussed in their pre-game.
Pre-game instructions was that if there was a possible red card situation in the game that the referee was going to slow down on issuing a card until he had input from the crew, in this case AR 2 Adam Wienckowski. You can clearly see in the video how the referee makes eye contact with Adam who then simply repeats "red card".
This procedure produces a good correct decision. There is no need for the referee to rush pulling out his card when getting input from an AR who has a good and credible angle of view will insure he takes the right card out in the first place.
Patience in Houston
It is early in the season, so I want to reward with a small shout out behavior that we want to see all season. Namely, don't rush the flag. This offside situation in Houston illustrates where a player in an offside position is near the ball, even begins to move towards it, but does not interfere, allowing a team mate to take the ball and create a very good goal scoring opportunity. (I'm still not quite sure how it wasn't turned into the net.) This is a rather easy decision for a PRO level assistant referee, but nonetheless, lets make sure we are taking our time with the flag.
The (insert sponsor Name) Call of the Week #1
It was hard, but we were able to break down all the assistant referee decisions down to the two best. The first nominee comes from Sporting Kansas City and NY Football Club. This is a double offside decision as AR Kyle Atkins first keeps his flag down when NYC David Villa does not interfere with the play near midfield and then spots that the attacker is behind the ball on the final pass before the goal. You also have to give him some props for the great speed in keeping level with the play.
Nominee #2 is one of a pair of good decisions by AR Jeff Greeson in the LA Galaxy v Portland match. The attacker is dead even on the header across the goal. Spot on.
Vote your conscience.
What Should You Do?
For you assistant referee offside aficionados...What is the correct call on this goal in Los Angeles? PRO's opinion next week.