3 senior referees out of MLS

Discussion in 'Referee' started by GlennAA11, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. GlennAA11

    GlennAA11 Member+

    Jun 12, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    1 person likes this.
  2. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And yet people will continue to say that nothing happens to referees who have poor performances.
     
  3. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yet Abi and Michael were not removed for poor performances - they were removed for failing fitness tests. And Mother********erufo showed egregious lapses in judgment before being suspended.








    And all this does is increase the chances of seeing Geiger in the middle. :rolleyes:
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Bootsy Collins

    Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

    Oct 18, 2004
    Capitol Hill
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Only one of the three was because of poor performances, and it was likely because of a string of such performances *plus* the poor off-field behavior in Chicago.

    Don't get me wrong -- I'm *not* saying "nothing happens to referees who have poor performances." Not at all. I'm simply saying that this event doesn't much speak to the issue you're referring to.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd say USSF kicking the soon to be former world cup finalist off of MLS matches speaks volumes. Its not like they are getting read of some national who has struggled in his only three matches.
     
  6. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Too bad about the fitness test issues for Okulaja and Kennedy. I didn't see Okulaja at all this year, I don't think--but what I saw of Kennedy, he looked good. I imagine that Okulaja will try to comeback next year; not sure about Kennedy, though.

    The Marrufo situation is interesting for a couple reasons. First, that it took this long until an official sanction was reported publicly. Second, he's still going to the U17-World Cup, so all is not technically lost on his WC hopes (especially with Batres' injury). How bad would it look if a USSF referee got selected for the WC in the same year that he gets suspended and then removed from MLS games? This is starting to look similar to how Hall was handled prior to WC02 (though, admittedly, Hall was performing much better then than Marrufo was earlier this year).

    Also, what's happened to Tim Weyland? He had a couple tough matches early on and has only been seen sparingly since.
     
  7. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Call me crazy--and this isn't speaking to or judging Marrufo's abilities or performances at all--but I think you might assume to much.

    If Batres is injured, as it appears he still is, and FIFA wants to send three CONCACAF crews, well... Marrufo might paradoxically become a WC lock (at least as a reserve) while simultaneously being removed from MLS. The politics of soccer refereeing can be quite odd.

    Marrufo had a good Olympics. If he has a good U17 WC, coupled with the dynamics within CONCACAF, that just might be enough.
     
  8. Bootsy Collins

    Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

    Oct 18, 2004
    Capitol Hill
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't remember a problem with Kennedy either. In fact, just a few nights ago I was thinking about how little I remembered seeing him this season, only to now find out from Goff's blog that he's done more matches than Marrufo. At some level, perhaps that's a sign of his doing a good job -- I may remember the match, but not the referee.

    As for Okulaja, though . . .he did one of DCU's USOC matches out at the Maryland Soccerplex, and I remember commenting at the time that he looked like he'd gained a *lot* of weight. I dunno if he actually had, but he looked it. There was a play in that match where an opposing player had what may still be a career-ending injury, and Abbey called no foul. Video footage that came out later showed that it appeared to be a good call; but the opposing coach wasn't happy that Abbey was a *long* way away from the play at the time.

    Re: Marrufo:
    How likely is this? code1390 above indicates that this is a strong move from the USSF because it effectively ends his chances at South Africa; but I guess I figured they were already ended by what's happened in the season up to this point. I have to think that those responsible for selecting CONCACAF crews are aware of the details of what's happening with legitimate candidate referees having trouble in their domestic leagues. No?
     
  9. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd hope FIFA would pick a one-legged Batres over Aguilar. ;)

    When is the final list of referees selected?

    I guess if he does well at the U-17 WC and maybe gets a few CONCACAF matches in he could still do it, especially if Batres is injured.

    I guess weird stuff does happen in referee politics. I think there was a UEFA ref (Terry Hauje?) that did the 06? Champions League final but wasn't selected for the 06 World Cup.
     
  10. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't pretend to know how likely it is, but I will point out that Hall got selected for WC02 while getting screwed by MLS.

    Remember, though, that this time there have been 40 or so referees pre-selected. Marrufo was one of these referees along with 4 other CONCACAF refs (Rodriguez, Batres, Archundia, Aguilar). While there is no set quota for CONCACAF (nor an official number of referees that will be picked for the WC overall), past history indicates the number will be 3. Batres seems hopelessly injured. Aguilar seems hopelessly bad. Rodriguez and Archundia, as returning referees, seem to be locks. So while I can't quantify his shot, it appears Marrufo definitely still has one.

    Good question. Best I can tell, it seems the list had its final trimming in late March 2006. At that point, the selected referees were published. There were a couple alterations after that because of fitness issues. But look toward March 2010 for a final announcement.

    Yes. Most observers thought that UCL assignment was used as a statement by UEFA for having him be passed over by FIFA. Even if it wasn't, the UEFA assignment followed, sequentially, the FIFA decision.
     
  11. Bootsy Collins

    Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

    Oct 18, 2004
    Capitol Hill
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I confess I wasn't as obsessive about MLS then, and thus wasn't paying attention to referees as much as I am now. I knew Brian Hall went in 02, but didn't know a thing about any issues with MLS at the time.

    I also didn't know about the pre-selection stuff.

    What's the prevailing opinion on Mauricio Navarro? I'd thought he was highly considered around 06/07, but I seem to hear a lot of rumblings about him now.

    I'm glad Courtney Campbell isn't on the list. As Caribbean refs go, he seems to get a lot of CONCACAF jobs; but I'm not a fan.
     
  12. refmedic

    refmedic Member

    Sep 22, 2008
    This leads me to 2 questions:

    1. Doesn't FIFA require that you referee in your top domestic league to maintain your status on the FIFA panel? If this is true, then it would be very difficult for Maruffo to maintain his status as a member of the FIFA panel. Maruffo's father having the influence that he has may add another interesting twist to this.

    2. How does this bode for Maruffo's continued employment as a USSF full time referee? I don't know how USSF can market it's full time referee program as employing the top officials in the US when their "poster boy" (my term) has been removed from officiating in the MLS?


    Personally, I'm not sorry to see Abbey go. I've never been impressed with him, and I have wondered how he managed to stay at that level for as long as he did. As for Kennedy, I'm really sorry to see him go. I always thought he did a fantastic job. He brought a lot of experience to the field, and he always seemed cool, calm, and collected. He doesn't show a lot of cards and talks to the players A LOT. I really think they respected him. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I also think that Kennedy is the only American to be both a FIFA referee AND a FIFA Assistant Referee since the advent of the specialist AR grade. I hope that he manages to stay involved in some way, shape, or form. He is too important of a resource to lose.
     
  13. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    These echo my thoughts exactly. I've always had a man crush on Kennedy (ref crush??), as his style seems to match closely with mine (and I just think he does a great job).

    Sometimes I wonder about the validity of fitness testing, especially when it comes to league assignments. I can see the need for them when evaluating referees for a global tournament, but for league play, assessors/observers can see how well a referee is keeping up with play and how his fitness is overall by actually observing his/her matches. One would think that this would be a more accurate representation of the referee's fitness level then some sort of standardized test.
     
  14. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    Margaret Domka also was a FIFA AR (2 years ago I believe) and this year earned her FIFA referee badge.
     
  15. Crewster

    Crewster Member+

    Jan 28, 2005
    Worthington
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just for the record, the Blanco-Marrufo incident happened in Columbus, not Chicago.
     
  16. Bootsy Collins

    Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

    Oct 18, 2004
    Capitol Hill
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Absolutely right; and too late to edit my post, dangit. Thanks.
     
  17. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    How often can they take the fitness test?

    there really isn't much time left in the MLS season, but it looks like they've been "off the list" all August?
     
  18. Tim Brice

    Tim Brice Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    Little Rock, AR
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is there a difference between the FIFA and the MLS test? (This would have been a great question to ask at ODP camp, when Alex Prus and George Gasner were the instructors).

    I know the FIFA fitness test is pretty tough. How many FIFA spots are the US allowed? Looking at the list, the US has 16 on the list. Some countries have 20. Is the number of FIFA's based on the size or the success of the country? Does FIFA have to approve each ref or do they just accept any refs the country nominates?

    I see England has a FIFA born in 82 :eek: It is Stuart Attwell, but I think he struggled in the Premiership last season.
     
  19. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You could say that.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0YiuSbBdaQ"]YouTube - Watford v Reading ghost goal[/ame]
     
  20. ManiacalClown

    ManiacalClown Member+

    Jun 27, 2003
    South Jersey
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I believe that USSF requires referees, regardless of grade, to pass the FIFA test in order to officiate in MLS. I'd have to dig out my handbook to double check that.
     
  21. FLRef86

    FLRef86 Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Not that we haven't seen this writing on the wall...

    the only matches that Jair has done since July 1 were a Texas Men's State Cup match!? and 2 international friendlies...
     
  22. vetshak

    vetshak Member+

    May 26, 2009
    Minnesota
    I finally got caught up this past weekend compiling stats for the referees working MLS games this year...

    Marrufo has not worked an MLS match since June 24, Dallas vs. Colorado. Not that it necessarily means anything, but in that match he called only 11 fouls and issued no cards. Previously, he averaged four cautions and 20 fouls per match. The match before that was on June 20, the infamous water break match in Houston.

    Kennedy did 11 matches this year, though none since July 25, Houston vs. New England. Interestingly, his 21.45 fouls per match and 3.36 cautions per match are amongst the lowest in the league.

    Okulaja did 7 matches this year, none since July 18, Columbus vs. Real Salt Lake. He also averaged a low number of fouls per match, only 22, and just 2.71 cautions as well. He also was featured in the Week 7 Week in Review when his AR called a clear penalty and he took what appeared to be his sweet time to award the PK, looking almost annoyed that the AR called the infraction.

    I don't think the league is necessarily looking for more fouls or more cards, and you can't read stats as being the reason for these guys losing their assignments. Obviously, the fitness issues appeared to be the reason for Kennedy and Okulaja anyway. But it is interesting that amongst the 16 MLS referees that have at least 4 matches this year, these three rank #2, #5, and #6 in lowest fouls per match.

    Marrufo's fall from grace is really disturbing to me. I recall 3-4 years ago watching him take charge of a potentially volatile second leg playoff match between New England and Chicago. This was the year after George Gansner was assaulted in the conference final between the same two teams. Early in the match the game was really testy, but Marrufo brought what could have been a hell match under control. I recorded that game and still have it on my computer today, and show it to young referees to show them how presence and personality can turn a very difficult match into a manageable one. Not surprising to me at all, Marrufo centered the MLS Cup that same playoff season.

    We have no idea why Marrufo's troubles have been present this year. Injury, personal issues, etc. all can affect our on-the-job performance, regardless whether we are referees or not. The shirt incident and the water break were very public issues, however, and USSF cannot afford to ignore them. They both suggest a desire to be a bit too chummy with the players.

    It is truly a sad day when a guy who was nominated to the World Cup performs so poorly that he is taken off the match list for his own professional league. I've talked to referees who have "missed their shot" and listen to the disappointment in their voice when they realize it was their one chance to keep climbing the ladder.

    I hope MassRef is right and Marrufo's World Cup dream is not over yet (I recall one of the members of Marco Rodriguez's team failed the fitness test at the U17 World Cup in 2005, causing the whole team to get sent home, and yet he still worked matches in Germany). I can imagine the disappointment amongst the decision-makers at USSF that the guy they chose has so severely endangered the organization's chances of having a representative in South Africa.

    But we should give them credit for expecting nothing but the best from the person they choose to represent us. Let's hope the next guy for Brazil in 2014 takes the message to heart...
     
  23. LiquidYogi

    LiquidYogi Member

    Sep 3, 2009
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    I just finished reading Pierluigi Collina's "The Rules of the Game" and he talks about having his closet full of jerseys that players have given him after games. He mentions that there is no way he's getting Beckham's jersey back from his daughter, which I thought was funny.

    Knowing this, why is it a big deal? Is it just that nobody knows this is a practice in other countries as a sign of respect?
     
  24. PVancouver

    PVancouver Member

    Apr 1, 1999
    Considering that the Referee Committee spent the entire first half of last year trying to get officials to call fewer fouls, I think this is just a coincidence.
     

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