Sunday, June 10, 2007

CONCACAF Officiating: Horrible

So I waited until today to jot down my thoughts from the second of three first round matches in the Gold Cup. The USA won 2-0 yesterday over T&T from goals by Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson. Unfortunately, yesterday's match was more of the same crap I saw Thursday night. The officiating was again horrendous, the US team itself was just good enough to win and the FSC production crew were terrible.

The USA played essentially an entirely different squad against T&T from the one that played Guatemala but the same problems were showing up in this match as the Thursday night match. Our passes were either too soft or they were off target, our play off the ball was lacking and our attempts at finishing were pretty poor (including Ching's goal).

After watching the entire match, I came away with some positives, but not many. Justin Mapp proved that he belongs on this team. He was alive and always running and trying to get into open positions. He and Beasley are going to have a good fight for that left midfielder spot. Kasey Keller was Kasey Keller. He was a rock in the back and didn't give up many gaffes. The only other real positive I saw was the combined play of Donovan and Twellman once Twellman came on. Those two played well off of each other and the T&T defenders were having fits with them. Was that due to the T&T defenders being worn out? I am not sure, but I liked what I saw and having them start up front in the next match wouldn't be a bad idea.

The FSC crew...well, they really need to learn that the live action on teh field is what they need to show. Having the camera show the coaches as a guy is streaking up the sideline with the ball, or just showing the goalkeeper when a free kick is being taken, neither are what the viewers want to see. Please, get the rest of the matches right.

Now for the officiating. After the Thursday night match, I was upset at how the CONCACAF crew handled the match. I felt that they really didn't have a grasp as to what they were supposed to be calling. Some times the ref would decide that a tackle was earth shattering, but a similar one two minutes later was nothing. They got the cards right in the first match, so don't get me wrong, but the ref was utterly hopeless in calling an even match. Then in the second match yesterday, the far linesman was consistent...consistent in failing to correctly call a player offsides. There were three separate times where Eddie Johnson was called offsides, two of them a T&T players was dead even with him. It got to the point where I gave up anytime we had the ball, I figured we would be called offsides.

I was beginning to think that there was some massive conspiracy going on against the USA, which there might be (if there is, they need to get over it and just continue to score goals). However, after attending today's MLS match at RFK between DC United & Red Bull New York, I am beginning to believe that the actual problem is the CONCACAF officiating in general. Today there were too many offsides calls when the player was dead even with a defender as the ball was played, yet he was called offsides. There were too many calls ignored, just to be called at a different time. Based on the officiating I have seen over this season and in the Gold Cup, I would have to say that when you compare the CONCACAF crews to the UEFA crews, there is a huge difference. The UEFA crews call better matches. Bundesliga, La Liga, EPL, Serie A, UEFA matches, they all call better matches with the calls down the line. Is it really a wonder why FIFA did not call in any CONCACAF refs for the World Cup last year?

My thinking on this is that as a region, this is yet an other gripe fans will have with CONCACAF and an other gripe that will be ignored by Jack Warner because it isn't something that will make him money to look into. However, I think that this is an issue that might actually see some level of change, as the USSF has decided to hire full time refs, and as they will get more and more proper training, one can hope that they will use that better training to actually make better calls in their matches.

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Blogger The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Unfortunately, the officiating standards in MLS and Mexican Liga as fair at best, and in the Carib and Central America nonexistant.

The worst thing about CONCACAF officiating is when the assign officials to do games where the home countries of said officials are at least indirectly affected by the outcome of the game they are supposed to be impartialy officiating. How FIFA allows such things is beyond me.

I'm hoping the professionalization of the MLS refs will raise CONCACAF in general, but it won't ever do the U.S> any good.

4:59 PM  
Blogger bfos said...

Even? Not close. On at least two of those calls we weren't just even, but actually a good yard or two from being even with at least two defenders on the back line.

They weren't just bad calls, they were flagrant.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Yeah, you are right. I meant to say at least even.

8:46 PM  

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