Week #9 April 27 - May 1

Week 9 of the MLS season saw PRO assistant referees involved in the MLS Goal of the Week and benefiting the attack in 20% of this week's goals. 

Goal of the Week - Offside?

This goal was just voted the MLS GOTW #9 thanks to the good decision of the referee crew.  Watch the first part of the video and you will notice the MTL Oduro is in an offside position when the shot is taken, this is the AR's angle of view. The second angle is relative to what the referee might have seen.  To get this call correct, CJ Morgante and Fotis Bazakos need to piece these two views together.  CJ follows proper procedure, stands at attention until he can confirm with Fotis that Oduro has not interfered with an opponent by obstructing the goalkeeper's vision.  Which they do thru the communication system.
When determining if Oduro's position is interfering with an opponent you need to keep into account not only if he is directly in line with the shot, but how close he is to the GK (14 yards or so).  Also, FIFA Law 11 states, "...clearly obstructing the goalkeeper's line of vision or movement.". In this case, Oduro is not interfering with an opponent as he is too far away and the keeper does have a clean view of the shot.  Do you agree?  Vote below.

Montreal's Oduro interfered with an opponent. This play should have been flagged for offside.
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In or Out of the Penalty Area

When watching this clip note that the foul does occur just outside the penalty area, which the referee has done well to spot.  The AR is confirming this decision using the communication system saying, "outside, outside, outside."  The crew gets the call right.  Although the referee goes over the AR - mostly for the benefit of the NE players - to confirm his decision, this might not have been necessary. 
Although the AR does walk up the line, this signal could be more obvious, so much so that even the players could see that he was confirming the referee's decision. 
When signaling that a foul is outside the penalty area, move quickly up to the top of the penalty area putting the flag in the left hand and hold slightly away from the body in a way that anyone can see that you are giving a signal that the foul was outside the box.

Game Management

In this clip notice how quickly the referee falls behind play by no fault of his own.  As we have pointed out in previous games that when this happens the AR needs to recognize it and widen his area of control.  This foul is the responsibility of the AR who correctly raises the flag. 

Concentrating on Offside

This clip shows the importance of concentrating and being square to the field to make correct offside decisions.  Not only does CLB attacker Findlay move in an out of an offside position, but the second to last defender changes.  Being square to the field so you can make the necessary minute adjustments to stay perfectly even is key.  By staying in line you are able to then focus on the timing of the pass and the position of the attacker. 

20% of goals were this close...

1 in 5 goals this past week had very tight offside decisions where PRO assistant referees gave the benefit of the doubt to the attack.  Watch these 8 goals and even with the freeze frame and slow motion you can see how well timed the attacker's runs are.  Again, this reinforces that concept that giving the benefit of doubt to the attack is usually rewarded as a correct decision by the assistant, a goal for the attacker and enjoyment for the fans.