Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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EducationPlay of the Week

Play of the Week 34: Referee and AR co-operation

By PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer

In previous editions of Play of the Week we have looked at incidents which have occurred out of view of the referee and have been missed by the other members of the crew.

In the latest Play of the Week we are looking at an act of violent conduct that was detected by a member of the crew who took full responsibility to ensure the correct action was taken.

It is from the FC Dallas versus San Jose Earthquakes game in the 66th minute.


We see a quick attacking break with FCD in possession of the ball, which goes out for a throw-in. It is at this moment that an incident occurs behind the back of referee Armando Villarreal and we can see that Dallas player Mauro Diaz is on the ground.

When we look at the three replays we can see at the bottom of the screen that Diaz initially obstructs Matias Perez Garcia, who then chases after him and retaliates by striking a blow to the back of Diaz’s head.

AR Peter Manikowski calls Villarreal over and informs him of this act of violent conduct. Villarreal then correctly shows Garcia a red card, followed by a yellow card to Diaz.

VIDEO: Ever wondered what it’s like to be a referee? Click here to find out

A dismissal in such an important game for both teams is always going to cause a reaction by the team going down to 10 men. We see Villarreal and Manikowski keeping calm and working hard to calm irate players. Fourth official Juan Guzman shows empathy towards Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear.

This play demonstrates the importance of the role of the AR who is stationed on the halfway line when play is in the other half of the field. Manikowski, like all top ARs, doesn’t switch off but scans areas of the field which the referee cannot see – in this case behind his back.

He sees the offense, recognizes and acts, demonstrating all the attributes of a world class AR; in particular, anticipation, awareness and courage.

As we enter the MLS Cup Playoffs it is important that offenses of this nature are seen and acted upon by a member of the crew.

Assignments: Click here to see who has been assigned to the MLS Cup Playoffs

This play should serve as a reminder to all the Playoff crews that they all have a responsibility in identifying misconduct that occurs out of the view of the referee.

Peter Manikowski has demonstrated that message to us all perfectly!

POTW: Click here to read previous Plays of the Week from Paul Rejer

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