PRO assistants referees did very well in the first week of regular season matches in MLS. There were zero Key Match Incident errors, good stuff to start off the year. Of course, every week is also a chance to review and see where we can improve. Preparing for Week #2 starts now. Assistant referees should contact the previous ARs for their match and find out what they learned. For example, next person to be AR1 in Atlanta should give CJ Morgante a call so he can explain the hazards of that line (no room, turf and concrete).
All assistant referees should also go over the scouting reports for each team. Be prepared, and as you will see in the rest of this review, even what may seem to be the smallest decision, may result in goals.
Involvement in the Defensive Third.
An area that PRO assistant referee need to improve on this season is; when to become involved when calling fouls in the defensive third. Before becoming involved anywhere on the field the assistant needs to consider these factors.
- Are they closer to the action with a credible position
- Do they have a better view than the referee
- Do they have a better angle than the referee
- Is it out of the referee’s view
Usually, in the defensive third and in the AR’s diagonal all of these can be answered “yes”. However, there is one more that may be the most important.
Would the referee have blown his whistle if he had the same view as the assistant?
This is where ARs have to put on their referee hats and consider all the factors that are part of making a foul decision.