Du Nord posted this first, but I saw it on my own and I was gonna post on it, pinky swear.
US Soccer is posting podcasts on MLS referee reviews. I wonder why this isn't on the MLS site, but behold another tiny bit of weirdness between having a non-profit corporation oversee a for-profit league. Two are up already - from week 3 and week 4.
Let's check out the podcast for week 3, shall we?
Paul Tamberino and Brian Hall are your reviewers. Your host is "Mike," who I'm going to make a wild guess is Mike Kammarman, the USSF press officer. Paul promises to spend a lot of time on offsides...which is a good time to note that this is all visual, so if you want to see the plays being talked about, you're going to have to open up another window, and hope your system doesn't crash.
This is fascinating listening. Problem is...no visuals, and no names. They discuss a non-PK call in the Galaxy-TFC game. I'm assuming the LA-Toronto penalty non-call was David Beckham's. Tamberino and Hall most criticize the referee for being forty yards away. Paul suggests that he...well, not be forty yards away. "Clearly should have been a red card."
Four D's constitute a red card - "distance" to goal, (offensive player's) "distance" to ball, "direction" of play (forward), number of "defenders". This play had all four. A fifth D, which will be mentioned in the next podcast, is "dangly bits" - viz., kicking or having them kicked.
Second clip - Chivas and Columbus. Shirt pull from...you know, they gotta name names on this stuff.
Too educational. I was hoping that Tamberino and Hall would spend fifteen minutes trashing their colleagues/employees/whatever their relationship is. But if it's praise, at least let us know who got the call right, so I don't have to spend five seconds looking up who it was (Ricardo Salazar - in looking this up, I had also forgotten we were talking about a game with nine yellows and two reds).
I'm going to sit here for a minute and try to think of any situation where a team would prefer a free kick outside the area. You know, David Beckham might actually be more accurate on free kicks than penalties, so if Landon is ever hurt or absent....
Assistant ref thrown under bus for blown offside call. "Incorrect offside decision." I saw this game, and I don't remember what play this was. Paul, please describe:
He should have written to Zurich and ask them to FINALLY get rid of passive offside. Brian Hall suggests that the field referee develop peripheral vision worthy of a species possessing eyestalks, but a much more simple solution is to follow the rule as God intended.
"He makes a motion that he is no longer interested in the ball." Jesus wept. If you're no longer interested in the ball, go on "Dancing With The Stars."
Okay, Brian suggests that a player show "patience", and Paul says referees need a "wait and see mentality." Awful advice. Frustrating for fans, frustrating for players. Delayed offside calls look incompetent at best, corrupt at worst. There's also no clarity as to when the original offside player gets to rejoin the play. And there's no way to indicate that the offside player is not allowed to rejoin the play - because THE FLAG IS DOWN. When Player A sees the non-flag, does he think "I'd better hang back in case I was offside after all, and I don't want to cost us a scoring chance," or does he think "I KNEW I wasn't offside, and I'd better get in there and attack"? Never mind what the fans are supposed to make of the situation.
Well, we're about out of time here. I guess I'll cover the week 4 podcast tomorrow. Tune in next time for "Overweight, Nearsighted Blogger Tells Professionals How to Do Their Jobs."