Image: Frank Anderson follows referee Chris Penso out ahead of the 2016 MLS All-Star game
“Referees say ‘we are only as good as our last call’, but I like to say, ‘we are only as good as our next call’.”
They are the words of the 2016 MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, Frank Anderson, when asked about his future targets as an official.
“It’s very simple – get my next call correct.”
Anderson has been making correct calls on a regular basis throughout the campaign. He’s been assigned to 23 regular season MLS matches this season, and ran the line at the 2016 MLS All-Star game.
The Playoffs followed with an assignment at RFK Stadium for D.C. United versus Montreal Impact, and then came the latest piece of recognition – the AR of the Year award, voted for by media, MLS players and MLS club management.
So, what’s the secret to success for the official?
“When you are working back-to-back weeks, or just regularly, you’re better prepared for your next decision. I found a good rhythm during the season and got into a comfortable groove each week.
“Sometimes as officials we see the game more clearly and this comes with repetition. When we are not seeing clearly it is because we are out of practice. I benefited from a heavy workload.
“I am extremely happy to have won this award and that my hard work, focus and consistency were rewarded. I have had a successful season to this point but I don’t linger on it. I’m ready for whatever comes next.”
It was a close call between the three finalists, one being Eric Boria and one being Anderson’s twin brother, Ian. Frank edged the votes by a narrow margin, but there will be no family bragging rights.
Remaining modest, Anderson heaped praise on his sibling, colleague Boria, and all the other PRO officials who have played their part during the 2016 season.
“I find it ironic that a good official is one who goes unnoticed and yet to win this award the players, coaches and media have to notice.
“Although we have been very competitive our whole life, we each celebrate the others’ success, so no there will be no boasting. All that being nominated with Ian meant was that it increased the chances of an Anderson winning, but whoever won would have been deserving.
“There are many quality assistant referees in MLS that are deserving of this award. Eric and Ian are both highly regarded officials and could or should have won this award, and the voting reflected this – we should probably split the award three ways.”