Sunday, October 1, 2023
EducationPlay of the Week

Play of the Week 4: Dissent in CLB v NY 

By PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer

In Play of the Week 4 we look at dissent, which is PRO’s main initiative for this season.

This subject was discussed with all MLS teams at their preseason camps. We explained to the players that dissent by action is more likely to be dealt with by referees with a sanction, than dissent by word.

The reason for this is that a few words said by a player to the referee can be dealt with by the center official without the need for a sanction, by an exchange of friendly banter, a quiet word or a warning rather than a confrontation.

However, dissent by action is less likely to be managed by the referee as it is so open and obvious to everyone in the stadium. Here are some examples:

– Running aggressively towards an official objecting to decisions
– Invading the body space of an official
– Surrounding an official or following/chasing an official
– Pressuring an official to change a decision
– Waving arms
– Pointing
– Gesturing a yellow or red card for an opponent
– Throwing or kicking the ball away
– Throwing the ball to the ground

These examples clearly undermine the referee’s authority and control, and our referees have been instructed to take action.

This week’s example is from the Columbus Crew versus New York Red Bulls game.


In the 83rd minute, Crew’s Federico Higuain, who has already received a yellow card, disagrees with referee Sorin Stoica’s decision to award a freekick against him.

He picks up the ball and punches it to the ground. He then starts waving his arm before approaching the referee.

Unlike verbal dissent, this cannot be managed. This is a clear example of dissent by action and Stoica has no option but to issue a second yellow card, and send him off.

online pokies real money