Tuesday night, I took in the US Open Cup semi-final match between the Fire and the Galaxy at Cardinal stadium in Naperville. I was sitting down low, right at 18 yard line, on the side opposite the linesman. In the second half, with the Fire clinging to a 3-2 lead, Razov had the ball just outside the 18. Players were pretty much bunched up at or around the 18. Ante finds some daylight, and lets off a wicked rope of a shot, which Hartman desperately parries. Then, in what seemed an instant, as though he materialized out of a Star Trek transporter, DaMarcus Beasley seems to pop up out of nowhere, alone in front the line of players, six yards from ANY other player on the field, and one times the Hartman parry, which had fallen near the penalty spot, and lasers it into goal. The linesman, if I recall, did not raise his flag. The LA players have their arms up high. The Fire is celebrating, The fans are screaming (what few there were there). The ref goes over to his linesman; the talk for what seems nearly a minute, nullifies the goal. I was in a perfect position to judge whether he was offside. I was lined up perfectly. Yet the action happened so fast, and DMB was just so fast, it was impossible to determine exactly what happened. In my view, this is a perfect situation where instant replay can be very useful. I know, I know, the traditionalists will balk. But think about it. --it's to determine whether a goal is scored or not, and thus does not interrupt the run of play. --it was at a critical point in the game. A one-time per team use at the discretion of the ref seems not too excessive, no? --it was obvioius that the officials really weren't sure exactly what happened. --the discussion lasted a while -- a quick walkie talkie conversation to an official in the replay booth on the other hand, might have resolved it quickly. --replay inconclusive? Make your call, and keep on playing. Beleive me, I am not advocating an NFL style replay song-and-dance. Just a quick, one-time only reliance on a better pespective when it could REALLY count.