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2011 Referee Week in Review - Week 17



Referee Week in Review – Week 17

The Situation: New England leading Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the 53rd minute of play.  

The Play: The New England defender handles a cross in the penalty area and a penalty kick is awarded to the attacking team. The penalty kick taker is identified and players move to their required positions outside the penalty area. 

The Decision: Before the referee signals for the kick, he is alerted by the referee crew that his attention is needed to deal with dissent and he delays the restart accordingly. 

My Take: The defender makes himself bigger by raising his arm.  He clearly makes contact with the ball and is correctly penalized for handling in the penalty area.  We also see good communication and proper technique exhibited by the entire referee crew.  The fourth official and assistant referee alert the referee prior to the taking of the kick and the referee does a good job to remove the ball from the penalty mark while he deals with the dissenting player from New England. 

The Laws of the Game: Law 14 requires that specific protocol be followed before the taking of a penalty kick.  Law 12 identifies seven cautionable offenses; among them is cautioning a player for dissent by word or action. 


The Situation: Chivas USA and San Jose tied 0-0 in the 59th minute. 

The Play: The ball is played into space and the San Jose attacker and Chivas USA defender both challenge for the ball.  The attacking player gets a touch on the ball and then proceeds to fall over the defending player. 

The Decision: The referee stops the play to caution the attacking player for simulation. 

My Take: The attacking player is dragging his trail foot to encourage contact from the defender and exaggerates his fall when no contact is made. This action is a clear example of simulation as the attacking player attempts to deceive the referee in order to gain an advantage. 

The Laws of the Game: The Interpretations for Law 12 stipulate that there are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behavior. A caution must be given when a player attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation). 

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.

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