Play of the Week 3: PKs in COL vs. POR

Mar 26, 2014

This week’s Play of the Week features two PKs in the space of a few minutes in the game between Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers.

The two clips below display all the attributes you’d expect from a top referee – in this case, World Cup referee Mark Geiger.

PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer said: “In the first PK, Deshorn Brown of Colorado bursts into the penalty area and is crudely brought down by Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

“Ricketts’ challenge is high, late and endangered the safety of his opponent. It also fulfilled of the criteria for DOGSO (Denial of a Goal Scoring Opportunity). Therefore, Geiger had the choice of whether to send him off for DOGSO or Serious Foul Play.

“Deshorn Brown’s actions as the recipient of such a challenge deserves much credit. Although he was clearly hurt, he quickly regained his composure and attempted to play on – an example of true sportsmanship.

“If you watch top referees like Mark, they are always working during the game – they never switch off, particularly at stoppages. And, when there was a five-minute delay, he used the time to good effect.

“He can be seen talking to the Portland players, explaining his intentions to show Ricketts a red card and the reasons why. Players appreciate that, rather than an aloof referee who will not respect them.

“Referees should always afford players their dignity and not show a red card to a player when they are on the ground receiving treatment, and that is exactly what Mark did.

“Just over a minute later, Mark awarded another PK when replacement Portland ‘keeper, Andrew Weber, dived at the feet of Vicente Sanchez, who went over his outstretched hands.

“Mark had no hesitation in awarding the PK and his body language was decisive and positive. These calls are always difficult for referees as it is never clear as to how much contact there is, and to what extent the forward initiates the contact.

“One thing is certain in my opinion; goalkeepers run the risk of making contact when they dive in towards a forward in this manner. Personally, I can never understand why they take the risk, particularly on the extremities of the penalty area with the forward going wide.

“The intensity and speed of both players often causes contact and necessitates the forward going to ground. Referees with less conviction and courage than Mark could quite easy have hesitated and talked himself out of making this call, so close after the previous one.

“This call clearly demonstrates great mental strength, which is an attribute he will take to Brazil in the summer, with our best wishes.”