As we head into the last couple weekend match days we are going to highlight quality movement. From the beginning of the season we have emphasized being "there and square" since we know that being "there and square" results in more correct decisions. This is true inside the penalty area and even on fast moving breakaways where assistant referees that square their shoulders as they run or turn square at the precise moment of the pass can better see if the attacker is in an offside position. With three games left for most teams it is important that we put in our best efforts in movement and positioning.
This past week we had an interesting no offside decision during the NY Red Bull match, however should the flag have been raised even though the keeper made the save? Your opinions please.
First is Toronto v Philadelphia where a close offside decision is correctly made. Notice in the lower frame how the assistant is square to the field an able to match the movements of the second to last defender to be in perfect position to make the call.
Colorado turns a midfield turnover into a breakaway and the assistant is ready. Since he has anticipated that a play may be made to the lone attacker, he is already square to the field and ready to go. One can wonder if the assistant had been facing up field, would he have made this decision correctly? This play would eventually lead to a DOGSO and penalty kick.
An experienced AR knows how to read the play and even if they are moving quickly on a fast break they will square themselves to the field at the moment just before the pass is to be played to give themselves the best position to make the decision. Craig Lowry does this very well in NYFC v Chicago.
On the other end of the same match an excellent double decision because the assistant remains square to the field. First he makes a good "wait and see" decision by not raising the flag on the offside attacker who is not involved. Then, while still staying square to the field, he moves and is in good position to spot the Chicago forward who scores from an offside position.
This type of squared up movement and position is a sign of a PRO assistant referee.
Does This Play Need A Flag?
NY Red Bulls v Montreal and a shot is taken. There is an attacker in an offside position who attempts to play the ball but does not touch it. The offside attacker is not directly in the goalkeeper's line of vision for the shot. The Montreal keeper makes the save. Do we need to flag this or do we allow play to continue? Please vote and offer your opinion.
Call of the Week #29
Last week's Call of the Week went to Jason White - the better looking one with an overwhelming 81% of the votes. We understand that the normal Jason White is taking the defeat quite hard.
This week it will be a choice between Claudiu Badea in Houston with an offside decision at midfield that looks oh, so easy in slow motion versus Mike Rottersman in DC United v Orlando where an outstretched defender's leg keeps the attacker onside for the goal.