Columbus Crew SC v Portland Timbers – MLS Cup Final 2015



GB at 2015-12-07 00:38:56

Well I must say that with the benefit of being able to look back at the whole picture of the game now, I think that Jair Marrufo probably got away with that one and can safely chalk it up as a job well done overall.


What he actually did was he used all his experience and in particular his calm confident body language to good effect. That is all very well when you have earned the right to referee like that, but lesser mortals would do well not to copy all the characteristics which this referee is adept at using to his considerable advantage.


The longer the game went on, the players generally showed respect to the referee and the way he approached and handled that game, so in fact there will be very few comments about the referee in the aftermath of this one.


I was definitely concerned that the game might be on a knife edge at times in the first half, but to be fair to the referee, he may have judged the temperature to perfection from down there on the field of play, even if it looked like it was rising from the TV pictures I had to go on.


So well done in the end Jair, you seemed to coast through the game, looking the calmest of everyone out there.


As for the assistants, Corey will be very disappointed when he sees that the ball was out of play in the first half when he did not signal for a throw-in, but setting that aside he was his normal competent self.


Peter Manikowski also put in a decent shift and supported the referee well.


As we have come to expect throughout our coverage of the MLS officials this season, the stand out attributes has been the standard of the flagging technique of the assistants, and once again it was excellent in this game. Well Done for that Reggie!


So that’s it for the MSL this season, I trust you will be back with us next season.


GB at 2015-12-07 00:23:05

My final summary will follow very shortly.


I trust you have enjoyed this RefCam coverage of the MLS Cup Final. Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


Still to come in the next couple of days is RefCam is the EPL game between Everton and Crystal Palace tomorrow night KO 8pm, followed by coverage of two massive Champions League games this week:


Tuesday 8th Dec, 7:45pm Manchester City v Borussia M’ladbach


Wednesday 9th Dec, 7:45pm Chelsea v F C Porto


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:



GB at 2015-12-07 00:20:48

Full Time

Columbus Crew SC 1 v 2 Portland Timbers


GB at 2015-12-07 00:18:15

good use of the comms by the officials there to get the throw-in correct


GB at 2015-12-07 00:17:12

Yellow CardMohammed Saeid (CC 8)


GB at 2015-12-07 00:16:42

Yellow CardDiego Valeri (PT 8) delaying restart


GB at 2015-12-07 00:14:42

The referee is obviously being strong with the injured player, but there has been more important times in the game when he could have asserted his authority.


Minimum of 4 added minutes


GB at 2015-12-07 00:12:29

The referee’s position in this game has been very much “box to box”


GB at 2015-12-07 00:08:14

once again the ball gets kicked away without even an admonishment from the referee


GB at 2015-12-07 00:07:05

a very delayed advantage signal by the referee but a very good advantage!


GB at 2015-12-07 00:00:38

There we have Dairon Asprilla (PT 11) clearly delaying the re-start by kicking the ball away, in the sound knowledge that he was never going to get cautioned for that tonight!


GB at 2015-12-06 23:56:25

The referee’s whistle style is not exactly “low profile”. Hsi continuous habit for multi blasts certainly brings attention to himself


GB at 2015-12-06 23:53:45

The referee just beginning to raise his profile then which he will need to do to keep the lid on this one


GB at 2015-12-06 23:51:44

The petulant actions of the players in the Columbus penalty area then may be a sign of what is to come in this game


GB at 2015-12-06 23:50:47

Fanendo Adi (PT 9) seemed to have “a little go at” the referee then after he was clearly pushed in the back right in front of the official and once again he allowed play to continue.


GB at 2015-12-06 23:48:59

absolutely nailed on Yellow Cardfor Alvas Powell (PT 2) for a reckless challenge which he telegraphed was coming in


GB at 2015-12-06 23:47:15

The current practice is for referees not to routinely press into the penalty areas, but there has to be times when they should get in close like those two goal-mouth scrambles we have had in this game.

As for the hand ball on the line, he didn’t really know much about it – but I have seen them given!


GB at 2015-12-06 23:44:26

I would like to see that “save” on the line again!

Once again the referee was stuck far too far out for me


GB at 2015-12-06 23:42:13

There seems to be a few importunities for the referee to manage the players expectations with a few “safe” free kicks, but to be fair to him he has been consistent as he lets them slip by and the players seem not to be showing as much dissent in the second half


GB at 2015-12-06 23:38:21

The referee’s game plan obviously seems to be to keep the game going as much as possible, but he needed to step in there in the centre as the intensity of the challenges starts to rise again. The referee will need to raise his profile with the game


GB at 2015-12-06 23:36:03

The intensity of the challenges at the start of the second half are not as strong as they were in the first half, but there is still a very competitive edge to the game.



GB at 2015-12-06 23:33:43

good lining by PM then as he demonstrated the need to follow the ball all the way back to the goalkeeper


GB at 2015-12-06 23:32:23

I spotted that AR2 Corey Parker was much closer to the touch-line when he gave that last throw-in


GB at 2015-12-06 23:31:15

the referee was well placed to watch the edge of the penalty area the also did well to get the first free kicki n the second half for that careless challenge


GB at 2015-12-06 23:28:46

Columbus get the second half underway


GB at 2015-12-06 23:25:51

I think that half time will have been welcomed by the officials as it gives them all time to regroup.


Jair Marrufo is obviously a very confident referee would gives the impression of being very calm and “unflappable”, but I was a little concentred for periods of that first half that he may have been guilty of refereeing the occasion and not the game as I said in by pre-match notes. Luckily for him he was presented with a blatant act of unsporting behaviour in the 34th minute. He correctly reacted to the actions of the Columbus player and all of a sudden it looked we had a referee out there. Just before then the players were beginning to challenge the referee’s authority both in the way they were challenging each other and the way they were talking to the man in the middle.


Corey Parker made a very uncharacteristic mistake in the build up to the Timbers 2nd goal. The first replay showed that the ball was clearly all out of play, then another angle of the incident at half time has shown how he missed it – he was at least a metre back from the touch-line. Had he been standing on the touch-line where he should have been he would have seen the ball out of play.


Peter Manikowski has been the busier assistant when it comes to off-side which he has judged correctly, but his throw-in direction decisions have been questioned a few times in that first half.


All the officials need to hit the ground running at the start of the second half as I think there is a lot more to come in this game yet!


GB at 2015-12-06 23:13:33

Here is a link to a recent feature posted on our web site this week which really gets to the heart of  what You Are The Ref is all about:

In this interview with Keith Hackett, the former PGMOL Referees Manager, he puts his “cards on the table” in another forthright exchange with our esteemed Alan Biggs, and talks refreshingly about the turnaround in the overall performances we have witnessed in the Premier League this season and gives his opinion as to what he attributes this to. Keith also gives a concise synopsise of the aims and achievements of as we begin the second half of our second season in the forefront of offering an informed voice to all match officials across the world and providing unprecedented insight into the key decisions that challenge the sport, in the local park or on the game’s biggest stage.


The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at


As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2015-12-06 23:12:18

Half TimeColumbus Crew SC 1 v 2 Portland Timbers


GB at 2015-12-06 23:11:36

minimum of 1 added minute to be played


GB at 2015-12-06 23:09:00

the referee is clearly very fit, but he seems to be getting sucked into where the players want to play the ball. He should use his fitness to get slightly wider at times so he is not in the way


GB at 2015-12-06 23:06:21

good spot then by the referee to see the deflection by the keeper for a corner


GB at 2015-12-06 23:04:58

the referee did well then and gave himself time to get that throw-in decision correct on the half way line


GB at 2015-12-06 23:03:12

even though there have been a few free kicks not given for me – the referee did well in the centre then not to be duped by the players falling down when they have not been touched!


GB at 2015-12-06 23:01:16

I spotted the referee just wiping his brow then -just before that first Yellow Card Harrison Afful (CC 25)


That was precisely what I predicted could happen when players think that the referee is not going to caution anyone!


GB at 2015-12-06 22:58:02

The problem when a referee takes too much of a “laid back” attitude, is that the players start to take chances in the thought that they will “get away with one” – that can leave to someone getting hurt.

The referee needs to get back to his basics and start giving some “safe” free kicks to keep the tempo where he wants it


GB at 2015-12-06 22:55:33

bust night for AR1 on this near side as he gets another routine off-side call correct


GB at 2015-12-06 22:54:16

There is no doubt that the referee looks very confident, calm and controlled but that wont wear for the whole game


GB at 2015-12-06 22:53:14

The referee will need to consider using his card soon, otherwise the players challenges will just get stronger and stronger. The foul in the centre looked like a good opportunity for me for the first yellow card.

The problem is that the longer he keeps his tinder dry he opens himself up to be accused of inconsistency if the first yellow card is for a lesser offence later in the game


GB at 2015-12-06 22:50:45

There seems to be a lot of surprises from the officials at the moment – they need to all refocus and keep their concentration


GB at 2015-12-06 22:49:42

By the way the players are starting to react towards the referee, he really needs to step up his presence to ensure this one does not start to slip away from him


GB at 2015-12-06 22:48:23

A replay of the incident when the Columbus player thought the ball went out of play before the 2nd Portland goal has shown that the Assistant referee seemed to misjudge that one. That said, the players need to keep playing until the referee stops the game


GB at 2015-12-06 22:46:33

Camera shots of the last goal-mouth scramble before the first Columbus goal showed the referee stuck out on the edge of the penalty area – I suggest that was an opportunity for the referee to have moved inside of the penalty area to get closer to the play


GB at 2015-12-06 22:44:38

GOAL! Kei Kamara (CC 23)

Columbus Crew SC 1 v 2 Portland Timbers


GB at 2015-12-06 22:43:07

with challenges like that jump on the back going on this early in the game our referee will need to start thinking about raising his profile soon


GB at 2015-12-06 22:40:17

the referee showing a great sprinting ability then as the play switched from end to end


GB at 2015-12-06 22:39:10

i an very surprised that Jair did not give a free kick then – no need to try to be too clever.


He then gets a big call right as he stops the Columbus player “looking for a penalty”, which it never was


GB at 2015-12-06 22:36:56

AR 1 PM was right on the ball then to adjudge that the player who took the corner was in an off-side position when the ball was played back to him


GB at 2015-12-06 22:35:26

classic example then in the build up to that second goal why the players must “play to the whistle”

Big call for AR2 Corey Parker, but he was obviously best placed to judge that the ball did not go out of play


GB at 2015-12-06 22:33:49

GOAL! Rodney Wallace (PT 22)

Columbus Crew SC 0 v 2 Portland Timbers


GB at 2015-12-06 22:32:31

That looked like a very naughty tackle to me – just the type of one I was talking about when I said before the game that the referee needs to get the ballance right in the final


GB at 2015-12-06 22:31:08

Nice work by AR1 as he mirrors the referee’s tolerance level early in the game


GB at 2015-12-06 22:30:05

Jair had a good look at that careless challenge and decided he did not want to let his first opportunity to exert his authority slip by


GB at 2015-12-06 22:28:51

AR1: Peter Manikowski (PM) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-12-06 22:28:32

hardly time for the smoke to clear and we already have a game on!

30 seconds

GB at 2015-12-06 22:27:43

GOAL! Diego Valeri (PT 8)

Columbus Crew SC 0 v 1 Portland Timbers


GB at 2015-12-06 22:26:03

Columbus Crew SC  won the toss so it will be Portland Timbers to kick off.


Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!


Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at


GB at 2015-12-06 22:20:13

Not long to go now as the players and officials line up for the Star Spangled Banner


GB at 2015-12-06 22:15:32

The most pertinent advice offered to a referee as he prepares to take charge of any final, is to “Referee the game and not the occasion”!

Every referee hopes that they can walk off the field of play at the end of the game with nobody talking about them or any of their colleagues – but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there is a job to be done. Essentially referees will attempt to manage what they can in order to enhance the spectacle of the season’s final fixture, but they need to remember that when the going gets tough, then the tough need to get going. This is where the referees tolerance level is so important; too low and a spate of yellow cards could cramp the players style; too high and the skilful players are unable to perform to their fullest if they are persistently stopped by unfair means. I am sure Jair has his game plan clearly set out for this game, so let’s hope we can sit back and witness a master class!


GB at 2015-12-06 22:01:09

Today’s officials are:


REF: Jair Marrufo (JM)

AR1: Peter Manikowski (PM)

AR2: Corey Parker (CP)

4th Official: Chris Penso  (CP)

5th Official: James Conlee (JC)


Jair Marrufo
Jair Marrufo takes charge of the MLS Cup Final 


The Pro website recently published the following details in respect to the crew for today’s Final:


PRO General Manager Peter Walton told “We have witnessed some very good officiating performances both in the regular season and throughout these Playoff games.

“The crew chosen for the final 2015 MLS game exemplifies the high standards that PRO officials strive for and I look forward to a game, well managed with the discussion points all focused on the game and players.”


Here are the referee’s statistics for his MLS games this season:

Games Fouls awarded Yellows Reds Ave Yellow Ave Reds
19 421 53 3 2.79 0.16


His postseason involvement so far this year came in the Western Conference Knockout Round, when he took charge of Seattle Sounders versus LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field.


Manikowski and Parker, the two ARs, have also been involved in the MLS Cup Playoffs this season, both running the line in the Western Conference Knockout Round game between Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, as well as being assigned to a Conference Semi Final second leg. The duo have ran the line in a combined 33 MLS regular season games in 2015, and both were shortlisted for the MLS AR of the Year award, which was won by Parker.


Penso’s MLS Cup assignment as fourth official comes after he was on the touchline for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, as fourth to referee Ted Unkel.


See also: Jair Marrufo ready to ‘bring his all’ to MLS Cup 2015

Today’s Teams:

GB at 2015-12-06 21:56:30

Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew

Steve Clark (CC 1)

Michael Parkhurst (CC 4)

Tony Tchani (CC 6)

Justin Meram (CC 9)

Federico Higuain (CC 10)

Ethan Finlay (CC 13)

Waylon Francis (CC 14)

Wil Trapp (CC 20)

Gaston Sauro (CC 22)

Kei Kamara (CC 23)

Harrison Afful (CC 25)


Tyson Wahl (CC 2)

Chris Klute (CC 3)

Mohammed Saeid (CC 8)

Cedrick Mabwati (CC 11)

Hector Jimenez (CC 16)

Jack McInerney (CC 30)

Brad Stuver (CC 41)


Portland Timers

Portland Timbers

Adam Kwarasey (PT 12)

Alvas Powell (PT 2)

Darlington Nagbe (PT 6)

Nat Borchers (PT 7)

Diego Valeri (PT 8)

Fanendo Adi (PT 9)

Jorge Villafaña (PT 19)

Diego Chara (PT 21)

Rodney Wallace (PT 22)

Liam Ridgewell (PT 12)

George Fochive (PT 26)


Will Johnson (PT 4)

Dairon Asprilla (PT 11)

Jack Jewsbury (PT 13)

Taylor Peay (PT 20)

Norberto Paparatto (PT 23)

Maximiliano Urruti (PT 37)

Jake Gleeson (PT 90)


GB at 2015-12-06 21:52:36

So here we are at the end of another 9 months of MLS Football, as the Columbus Crew take on Portland Timers for 90 minutes of action at the end of which someone will be crowned champions for this season.


It’s a meeting of one of the oldest clubs in Major League Soccer history against one of the youngest. The MLS original Crew SC will be looking for their second MLS title in their second trip ever to the league championship game, after winning MLS Cup 2008; for the Timbers, which came into Major League Soccer in the 2011 season, it’s their first trip to the championship game.


The teams met once during the regular season, also in Columbus, which ended in a 2-1 Portland Timbers victory. The win by the Timbers was their first in three trips all-time to Columbus, Crew SC having come away with 1-0 victories in the first two meetings in the Ohio state capital.


The all-time series has been split exactly down the middle since both teams have been in the league. In six matches, each club has won two (with two draws), and each has scored six goals, so something really has to give today.


GB at 2015-12-06 21:48:13


Welcome to this live RefCam coverage of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Final to be played at the Home of the Crew, at the MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio.

Thanks to Andy Martin for keeping the seat warm this afternoon for another RefCam which saw yet another key error by an assistant referee in the EPL, which ruled out a perfectly good goal for Liverpool. We certainly don’t want to see anything like that in this game.

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at