Friday, April 30, 2010

Brian Hall Interview

This is an interesting article of an interview of Brian Hall.


Thanks to Mark Merritt for bring this to my attention.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Week in Review: Week 3

Another edition of the WIR has been published on the US Soccer website.  There is a lot of information this week, including some detailed discussion on Interfering with the Goalkeeper, Free Kick Management and Game Flow

Click here to read the article and watch the videos.  Remember to keep up with WIR now that the MLS season has started again.  If you have questions about how to apply any of the concepts mentioned in the articles, feel free to reach out to Kris.

Interfering with the Gloalkeeper's Release of the Ball

This is one of those situations that doesn't happen often but when it does we need to deal with it correctly.  As I've said in past posts, US Soccer is big on giving us "criteria" to use when making decisions on the pitch and this is no different. 

We should all know that a player is not allowed to prevent the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands.  The part that is tricky is what is considered " releasing the ball."  Per US Soccer, the goalkeeper is considered to be releasing the ball from the moment they have control to when the ball is clearly released into play.  This includes:
  • bouncing the ball
  • running with the ball
  • in the process of dropping the ball in preparation for kicking it
  • throwing the ball
The idea here is that the GK gets to release the ball without any inteference.  No opponent may not stand or move so close as to restrict the release.  I've found that proactively managing this situation is the best approach.  As the center, when the GK takes possession its a good idea to keep an eye out for any opponents near the GK that might be a problem.  If you feel that there is the possibility for interference you may choose to stay close enough to verbally manage the situation, if needed.  As the AR you also need to be aware of interference and be prepared to assist the Referee, especially if he or she has already moved upfield.

In this particular case (see below) the correct procedure would've been to disallow the goal and restart with an Indirect Free Kick for Philadelphia, at the spot where the interference occurred.  You can read the whole article from US Soccer by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NMSRA Group Run

Orion has been organizing the group run for some time now.  Today we went on a "long" run along the Bosque trail.  Check out the route:

View NMSRA Group Run 04/14/2010 in a larger map

If you'd like to join us in the future let Orion know.  We try to vary our days and activities to make it interesting. All fitness levels are welcome!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tactical Foul

Part of the Game Management model from US Soccer includes 100% Misconduct. This means that when we are faced with a case of 100% Misconduct (a "mandated" caution/send-off) we must give it. I know this gets confusing because there is a lot of talk about allowing physical play, even trying to minimize the number of fouls we call and cards we give. There are times when we can be flexible in our application of misconduct but we have to recognize when we don't have that option.

First, please review the Directive on 100% Misconduct: Tactical and Red Card Tackles. Now, let's take a look at the following video keeping in mind the elements of a tactical foul.

This foul hits several of the criteria listed in the directive:
  • Attacking end of the field
  • Numerical advantage
  • Quick attack means that there is less time to defend
  • The defender knows he is beat and must foul to prevent the ball from advancing

Do you agree that this is a tactical foul? For me, its important to be familiar with the criteria that US Soccer puts out for tackles like this one because then when you see the foul the decision is easy, its practically been made for you. The same can be said for DOGSO, reckless/excessive force tackles, elbows to the face (FIRE), etc. Know the criteria and when you see it happen, react appropriately. But when you don't have all the criteria met you know there is some flexibility that you can work with to decide whether to caution or just give a stern lecture.

This particular foul was all around pretty easy to get right. If it wasn't tactical, the reckless nature of the foul would make it an easy target for a caution anyways. But I want you to think about the criteria and how to apply it. If an assessor asked me why I gave this player a caution, I can say: "Per the USSF Directive on 100% Misconduct he committed a tactical foul that requires a caution."

The final thing to think about is positioning and whistle. This foul happened on a quick attack and I should've been positioned more towards the attacking end of play at the taking of the throw-in. This would've been more proactive and I wouldn't have had to sprint as hard to be close to the foul. Fouls in the "red-zone" - like in front of the bench - require us to be close to play and ready to take action. You can hear how the players, coaches and fans reacted to the foul. This is an indication that a long, hard whistle is needed to show your presence and tell everyone a card is coming. I chose to have the card out at my side immediately to calm everyone but that's not always needed. In this case, I think it quelled the angst of the attacking team's bench quite quickly.

Anything that I should have done better here? What do you guys do to ensure you get the required cautions right in your games?

Friday, April 2, 2010

WIR April 1

US Soccer has released the latest Week in Review, which also happens to be the first one for 2010.

Check it out by clicking here.

Remember that it is important to stay up to date on the Week in Review. Make sure to read them often so that you are familiar with the information and can apply it to your games as needed. Many assessors (especially at Regional events) like to reference WIR articles, so be prepared!