This week’s Play of the week is taken from the match between Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas.
The play Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer focuses on features a horrific foul tackle, which endangered the safety of an opponent, by RSL’s Abdoulie Mansally on FC Dallas’ Jackson.
Paul explained: “I was in the stadium and can confirm that the nature of this tackle was so egregious in its nature that the immediate reaction from the spectators was one of shock and the expectation was that Jackson’s leg was broken.
“With any foul of this magnitude there is a natural reaction from players on the field and, potentially, from the occupants of the technical areas, in this case due to their close proximity.
“The reaction of the referee in these cases has to be swift to diffuse any potential reaction; therefore the part of the referee Hilario Grajeda was paramount to maintaining match control. His priorities were textbook:
“1. His immediate concern is for the welfare of the players, so he immediately summons medical staff for the injured players to receive urgent treatment.
“2. He then has to consider the strong possibility of retaliation, so he astutely holds the red card in his hand, clearly visible which effectively satisfies the FC Dallas players that justice will prevail. RSL Head coach Jason Kreis’ reaction is professional, knowing that any protest in defense of his player is pointless.
“He simply walks away and prepares his team for the inevitable outcome of playing the remainder of the game a man short. There are some protests from Mansally’s team-mate, Kyle Beckerman, fulfilling his duty as captain, but he knows they are in vain.
“3. Referee Hilario Grajeda then has to wait until 16.05 to actually show the red card to Mansally when he is in an upright position to at least afford the player his dignity. Mansally accepts his fate with resigned inevitability.
“Please observe the referee’s body language during the whole of this POTW; he displays all the attributes of top class refereeing – composure, calmness, empathy, confidence and control. He handled the whole event in a dignified and decisive manner.”v