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MLS official takes a moment – then reverses his critical call

May 26, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT

Brad Davis 3

Wouldn’t it be great if more MLS officials did this?

Scratch that … more officials around the world, not just in Major League Soccer – where we regularly batter the poor officials – need to take a second, have a word with their assistants, maybe even take a quick sip of water if needed, and then make doggone sure they get the big decisions right.

Not on every throw-in or on a routine foul in the midfield, obviously. But in the potentially game-changing choices like red cards or penalty kicks, does it really hurt to get another voice, perhaps one with a different (and perhaps better) angle of view?

In the first half of Sunday’s Eastern Conference battle between hosts Sporting Kansas City and Houston, young referee Drew Fischer pointed to the penalty spot for Houston.

(MORE: Lots of U.S. representation on the Sporting Park field)

Fischer, one of the league’s least experienced officials, with just 12 previous matches in the middle, had adjudged that Kansas City midfielder Oriol Rosell had fouled U.S. international Brad Davis inside the home team’s 18. It certainly looked like the Spanish midfielder had won the ball cleanly as Davis prepared to shoot from about 16 yards.

Fischer needing convincing by a group of Sporting Kansas City players – we would ask again about the league’s preseason mandate against these “mass confrontation” situations, but we’ll stay on point here – to go consult with his assistant.

But he did finally do so. And then Fischer bravely reversed his decision.

No penalty kick – the correct call.

Again, more referees should do this. It really about getting the decision correct, however that needs to be done.

Here’s the play in question:


  1. SD1 Timbers Special Forces - May 26, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    This is exactly why instant replay is so needed. Did this take half an hour? No, just a few minutes. And it was the right call. Why are so many people scared of getting the right call, even if it means an extra minute? This is a perfect case of why Instant replay should be used for game changing plays. The margin of error in this game is so small that exactness is needed. Not one person’s opinion of what happened.

    Even give a single challenge per game to each coach. That way there are only two times replays would be used. It’s not a big deal. Why the resistance?

    • talgrath - May 27, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      There were multiple 30 minute delays on one call in an NFL game last season, that is the fear. Replay officials scared of getting it wrong taking too long to run the replay.

  2. wfjackson3 - May 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I was absolutely shocked that he did this. But let’s also offer the bad with the good, he did a rather poor job overall today. He got so many fouls wrong it was almost unbearable.

  3. ricecloudnine - May 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    And the there is Baldomaro Toledo… Not that it would make a difference with how the Sounders are playing, but he strikes again in the Seattle-LA game

  4. geojock - May 28, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Good news. The official got the call right.
    Bad news. Crying KC’s bad behavior was just reinforced. Question. Just because the call was overturned should KC get a pass on the Mass Confrontation rule?
    Bad News II. They guy missed two other potential PKs. A handball and a dangerous challenge.

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