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2011 Referee Week in Review - Week 33

Referee Week in Review – Week 33

The Situation: Real Salt Lake and Seattle are tied 0-0 in the 41st minute.

The Play: An attacking player enters the penalty area and sends a pass across the goal area behind a host of defenders. The ball reaches his teammate who scores a goal.

The Decision: The referee consults the assistant referee before confirming that a goal has been correctly awarded.

My Take: You can see in the snapshot taking of the play that the goal scorer is level with the second-to-last opponent at the time the ball was played, making this a valid goal. The assistant referee makes a great call in a difficult circumstance, and the referee displays thoroughness and poise by verifying the call with him.

The Laws of the Game: As Law 11 indicates, an attacking player must not be nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender in order to remain onside.

The Situation: Kansas City leads Colorado 1-0 in the 57th minute.

The Play: After receiving a pass from a teammate, the Kansas City attacker enters the penalty area with the ball under his control. As he prepares to shoot, he is pushed down from behind by a chasing defender.

The Decision: The referee awards a penalty kick and sends off the defender.

My Take: This is a foul in which all the criteria for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity are met. The attacker is close to goal and heading directly towards it, has control of the ball, and there is only one defender between him and the goal. If a foul occurs under these conditions, the offending player must be sanctioned with a red card.

The Laws of the Game: Law 12 states that a player should be sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity by an offense that is punishable by a free kick or penalty kick. Additionally, U.S. Soccer provides a list the factors a referee should consider in determining if a player has been denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO).

Michael Kennedy is a current MLS referee and has officiated in the league since its founding in 1996. In addition to serving as a professional referee, he has also represented U.S. Soccer as both a FIFA referee and assistant referee.