Offside on a throw in? or was it? Handball in the penalty area? What happened on that send-off in Portland? and one more time is that a deliberate play or a deflection? I have removed the live audio feed because, well, you understand, the announcers...
Offside on a throw in
Lets start with an offside situation that came off a throw in in NYRB v HOU. Take a look at the video and decide if there was contact with the ball by the first Houston player or did the ball go directly to the offside positioned attacker.
Even on the video replay it is unclear, just as it was to AR Adam Garner. At this point he had to get another piece of the offside puzzle so he used the RefTalk to ask the referee "Was there a touch? Was there a touch?". Referee Jair Maruffo said "yes", so the flag went up correctly denying Houston an obvious goal scoring opportunity because the offside player did not receive the ball directly from the throw in.
Offside: Deflection or Deliberate Play
The second offside situation from last week's game results in a goal for Portland. Watch the video and determine if Real Salt Lake defender #8 deliberately plays the ball or is it a deflection.
At the moment the ball is last played by an attacker Portland player Borchers is in an offside position, but not involved in play. If you look at the actions of RSL #8 he swings his foot at the ball and misplays it back towards his own goal. There is a clear movement towards the ball, he has time and space, and it is a deliberate play. Borchers should not be penalized for being in an offside position as the ball was last played by an opponent.
Do you agree? Is this action by the RSL defender a deliberate play or a deflection?
Violent Conduct seen by the assistant referee
It is always difficult to make a decision that will not only send off a player but will result in a penalty kick. Watch the video to determine if the actions by Real Salt Lake defender Olave is worthy of a sending off.
There is a difference between the use of the arm by Portland's Adi and the throwing back of the arm of RSL's Olave. Olave throws his arm into the face of Adi making contact above the shoulders. This is violent conduct. Assistant referee Ian Anderson spots this and must raise his flag. To be clear he also tells the referee "Foul and pk. Foul and pk." Once the referee Hilario Grajeda blows his whistle he informs him of the type of misconduct. There is no need for the referee to confer with the assistant as his message is clear and understood.
Hand ball and PK at Red Bull Arena
There are times in a match when the assistant referee has a better view of an infraction then the referee. As you watch this video, notice the referee's position compared to that of the assistant and determine who needs to make this decision.
In this case the assistant referee has a better view than the referee. ARs should be especially cognizant of the left hand/arm of defenders as this is the side that is usually hidden from the referee. In most cases the referee will need help in spotting this type of hand ball as the body of the defender will screen him. ARs should also feel empowered to raise the flag when they see this situation as the defender is "making himself bigger" by not having his arm in a natural position near his body.
Assistant Referee Movement in Portland
Early in the Portland vs Real Salt Lake match a goal is called back for offside by assistant referee Mike Rottersman. When you view the video it is clear that this is a correct decision. However, don't concentrate on the decision, but rather the movement of the AR.
This is an example why staying square to the field can help assistants make the correct decision on offside. By side stepping quickly so as to be perfectly level with the second to last defender Mike makes this decision rather simple, but with the pressure of the game and crowd, not easy. When play is inside the penalty area this type of movement is optimal.