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EducationPlay of the Week

Play of the Week 17: AR Greg Barkey in SJ vs. CHV

USA celebrate their winning goal against Ghana

In Play of the Week 17 PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer looks at AR best practice, from San Jose Earthquakes versus Chivas USA.

Rejer uses AR Greg Barkey as an example, between 28:45 and 29:45 in the MLS game at the Buck Shaw Stadium.

Rejer said: “In this play we see a superb demonstration of assistant refereeing at the highest level.

“Many elements of good practice were seen in the space of one minute by experienced AR Barkey.

Phase One

– The importance of being level with the second-last defender
– Excellent fitness and acceleration
– Absolute concentration
– Accurate judgment

“We see a promising attack by San Jose where Barkey ensured he was positioned with Chivas defender Danny Toia – the second-last defender – to see that the Earthquakes’ Steven Lenhart was level with Toia when the ball was played to him.

“In his endeavors to be level, the AR demonstrated excellent fitness and acceleration to be in that vital position.

“He concentrated to make a correct, accurate call and kept his flag down on a tight offside as Lenhart is level.

“The combination of these individual attributes demonstrated by Barkey provided San Jose with a goal scoring opportunity, adding value to the game.

Phase Two 

– Continued alertness and awareness
– The importance of being level with the second-last defender
– Facing the field of play by lateral movements
– Excellent technique
– Flag in correct hand
– Changing hands prior to raising the flag
– Accurate judgment
– Selling the position

“Following Barkey’s great work in phase one, he did not switch off and continued to remain focused on the resulting corner and, as the ball was crossed over, the AR was seen in his natural position on the goal line.

“He then endeavored to be in line with the second-last defender again when the ball was cleared out of the penalty area. He did this with lateral movements that provided him with a superior peripheral view of the field of play and its participants.

“This allowed him to concentrate on a potential offside call but also gave him the opportunity to see and correctly judge deliberate handball on the edge of the penalty area by Tony Lochhead of Chivas.

“His flag work demonstrated excellent technique; firstly by holding his flag in the left hand to provide him with valuable thinking time, while he correctly changed hands below to switch the flag to his right hand before he raised it to signal for the offense.

“This excellent display of assistant refereeing didn’t finish there however, as he then proceeded to move to the outside of the penalty area to demonstrate that the offense occurred outside the 18-yard box and is therefore a free-kick and not a PK.


“In the space of a minute Greg Barkey displayed attributes that ARs at the highest level have to possess. Any aspiring AR should look at all the outstanding examples here contained within the space of one minute. It is a minute of sheer excellence and a masterclass of assistant refereeing.”

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