Play of the Week 18: Time wasting in NY vs. CLB and SJ vs. DC

USA celebrate their winning goal against Ghana

In Play of the Week 18, PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer centers the discussion around time wasting – one of this season’s big initiatives.

The two plays used this week are from New York Red Bulls versus Columbus Crew, between 71:30 and 72:15, and from the 88th minute of San Jose Earthquakes’ game against DC United.

Rejer said: “The initial focus on time wasting was on the six second rule [Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct], but the overall concern and instruction to referees was to not allow time wasting in general, with the rationale being to increase effective match time.

“Taking a look at two examples this week, we begin with Crew at Red Bulls.

“With his team in a winning 3-1 position, Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles took his time to release the ball from a goal kick. The ball actually left the field at 71:30 and at 72:07, with the play still not having resumed, Robles received a caution from referee Ted Unkel. The goalkeeper can have no complaints.

“In the second play, DC’s Eddie Johnson was substituted with his team in a winning position at 2-1. Taking his time to leave the field, despite warnings from referee Jair Marrufo, he continued to walk slowly in an obvious attempt to waste time. Marrufo had no option but to issue the yellow card to Johnson.

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“In these types of cases it is important that referees are consistent and apart from issuing yellow cards, should also add the wasted time on at the end of the half to ensure the players who indulge in such tactics do not achieve their objectives.

“If the only outcome to time wasting is a caution and the time being added on anyway, the players may then get a clear message that any time-wasting tactics are futile.”