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MLS referees "absolve" themselves for missing clear own goal

Basically they are free of blame...or something along those lines for missing so many calls.

Take a deep breath. Seriously. If you are going to read this for the first time, second time or even a fourth or fifth time, take a deep breath. You’ll need it.

Professional Referee Organization released their weekly review of a controversial play on their website today. Naturally the play worth discussing was the missed own-goal in FC Dallas’ 2-0 loss to Sporting KC on Sunday.

And boy did they ever bring out the snarky comments in the process.

Firstly, AR Sean Hurd: As soon as the ball is played back by Olum, you can see Hurd accelerate in an impressive manner with a great burst of speed. But even Usain Bolt would have had trouble to beat the ball at that pace to be in the optimum position on the goal line.

Usain Bolt. Seriously? You’re going to compare an assistant ref to the fastest dude on the planet? You do realize he ran a world record 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds? Hurd wasn’t running a 100 meters here, he was barely running half of that. I’m fairly certain Bolt would have been able to sprint 60ish yards in a couple seconds.

Secondly, referee Jorge Gonzalez is standing in a midfield area and can see Olum poised to play the ball back to the goalkeeper. Everyone in the park would anticipate a long ball up field. Imagine his surprise when the ball goes past Melia. He has no chance at all of gaining any reasonable ground to be anywhere near to see the ball wholly crossing the goal line, even if he had anticipated the situation that developed.

So in my mind Gonzalez responded like this:

I’m sure he was surprised when the ball went past Melia. But that doesn’t even set me off as much as the next line in the post.

Therefore, the match officials have to be completely absolved from any blame in this play.

Yeah, okay there slick. Absolved is a pretty strong word to use here. Does it absolve them from the missed penalty calls against Tesho Akindele? Or the offside call on Fabian Castillo? Or, I dunno, the dive that Benny Feilhaber had to earn a penalty kick?

Even Sporting KC fans in the stands know they got away with this one.

They did everything they could and I am delighted that they did not guess. As I have said on numerous times, you shouldn’t be blamed for not making a call that you can’t see. You can be blamed for making a call that you cannot see as usually the guess is incorrect. Even if they had guessed a goal on this occasion, the initiated would know it was a guess.

As much as I would like to put this to rest, seeing comments like this really doesn’t help the matter. Discussing these plays are fine and all on their website but putting it in a tone in this manner really is counter productive to informing and educating fans. If anything, it gives off a very large “we don’t give a F” kind of vibe that really is bad for the league and the sport.

It would have been more productive to say something along the lines that technology would have improved this play for the officials. And it would have definitely been more wise to also dive into the offside and Feilhaber penalty call in more detail as well.

If anything, to have that many big issues from one single game should prove to this organization that things have to improve here.