Minnesota United LA Galaxy


GB at 2017-05-22 00:24:08

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Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-05-22 00:22:55


Looking back on this game as a whole, there will probably be little mentioned about the referee, which is always the aim of every official. His style is confident and low-key, as he is keen to keep the game moving as much as possible. That said, this approach led to a number of clear offences not being penalised. When you have a referee who seems to be cruising for major parts of the game, then keeps throwing in the “odd surprise” now and again, the players understandably start to show their frustration, which leads to a lack of respect for the officials.  And that is what seemed to be going on for me in this game. It may have never got away from Chris Penso, but there were a few incidents which he had to “react to”, which were caused in some way to decisions he had either made or not made. There is a lot to admire about this referee, but the very last incident summed up to me the area he needs to improve upon and get his authority across better. An offence took place on a Minnesota player inside his own half, Giovani dos Sandos (LA 10) then twice stands in the way and delays the restart which was allowed to take place ten yards inside of the LA Galaxy half. If the referee had insisted that the free kick be taken in the correct place, then Giovani dos Sandos (LA 10) would not have been cautioned. This Referee’s relaxed approach caused this caution which could have been avoided if he was more alert and pro-active.

This was not a poor performance by any means, but for a referee with so much experience as Chris Penso, I suggest he needs to go back to basics a bit more and not rely on his reputation to control games, but put a bit more effort in to managing the event instead.

More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-05-22 00:19:31


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at  Info@you-are-the-ref.com

Next up for RefCam is this season’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal KO 5.30 LT on 27th May

Then its back to the MLS next Sunday for Atlanta United v New York City

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2017-05-22 00:03:44

Full Time

Minnesota 1 v 2 LA Galaxy


GB at 2017-05-22 00:02:25

Yellow Card Giovani dos Sandos (LA 10) – delaying the re-start

That was allowed to happen as well


GB at 2017-05-22 00:00:33

Minimum of 3 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-05-21 23:59:17


Well I can fully understand AR2 not signalling for that clear push in the back right in front of him – as the referee has failed to give a few of those, he is demonstrating good teamwork – by being on the same wavelength as the referee!


GB at 2017-05-21 23:54:57

GOAL! Christian Ramirez (MU 21) Own Goal

Minnesota 1 v 2 LA Galaxy


GB at 2017-05-21 23:53:51

We often talk about “no surprises” from the officials- unfortunately this referee keeps coming up with one


GB at 2017-05-21 23:51:06


This is very “sloppy” refereeing as two yellow card were shown then as the players reacted to two more poor decisions in the space of two seconds. First a high foot in the goal-area goes unpunished, then a charge from behind is not penalised. When play is stopped for the next foul challenge, the frustrations of the players boils over.

Yellow Card for Romain Alessandrini (LA 7) for dissent


GB at 2017-05-21 23:45:07

Yellow CardMiguel Ibarra (MU 10) for unsporting behaviour for that holding offence which stopped a promising attacking move. Chris Penso definitely raising his profile now.


GB at 2017-05-21 23:43:00

Having been critical of this referee for not looking a bit more pro-active, I have to say that his style does seem to be working in this game.

Yellow Card Rafael Garcia (LA 25) for reckless challenge


GB at 2017-05-21 23:38:49

GOAL! Christian Ramirez (MU 21)

Minnesota 1 v 1 LA Galaxy

Great call by AR1 Muschik as Miguel Ibarra (MU 10) may just have been offside as the ball was played forward bu made no impact on the move


GB at 2017-05-21 23:35:56


Good to see the officials getting together to discuss the Minnesota appeals for hand ball – but equally good to see that the correct decision is made as the ball just brushed the LAG player’s shoulder and not deliberate hand ball.


GB at 2017-05-21 23:31:33

The grappling is really reaching a new level for these corner kicks now and that was an example of how this referee is failing to get his point across. Twice he moved right in to warn the players and they took no notice and he took no action. For the first corner of the last two he even got in the way as he failed to move back out after delivering his message on deaf ears.


GB at 2017-05-21 23:23:52


Chris Penso is one of the quickest referees “off the mark” in the MLS< but I just wish he would not allow himself to get so far ahead of the play sometimes that he gives himself extra work to catch-up if play switches


GB at 2017-05-21 23:21:03

5 minutes into the second half and the referee is still content to “walk” around and drop anchor and watch play go on around him


GB at 2017-05-21 23:18:43

Jeff Muschik AR2, raised his flag too soon then for that offside. Had he held his flag for a split second longer he would have seen the defender head the ball clear so the player in the offside position did not get involved in active play.


GB at 2017-05-21 23:15:30

LA Galaxy get the second half underway

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-05-21 23:09:24


Well despite the game not really providing a particularly stern test for the referee so far, he has not really made a very positive impression on the proceedings yet.

There have been a few offences missed, and a definite lack of energy from the referee so far. I know he has the fitness to really impress, so I don’t really understand why he seems content to just walk around so much in this game in that first half.

As I said in my commentary, it is not a bad thing to look relaxed when others are losing the plot around you, but there is a fine line when you look too laid back.

Chris seems to rely on his whistle to get his personality across, as was shown with that long strong blast for the foul which led to the first yellow card. Its good to make the whistle talk for you, but a referee needs to use his personality and body language as well to get their presence across to help “manage” games at this level.

If this one suddenly comes to life in the second half, it will be interesting to see how well this referee raises his profile.

GB at 2017-05-21 23:01:01


It has been a BIG week for You Are The Ref, with the announcement that the World’s Top Referee Mark Clattenburg has joined the team as International Academy Director. Mark @clattenburg1975, will be attending the Youdan Trophy in July/August and is already really looking forward to the coaching element of his new role with you-are-the-ref.com .  For more details of this exciting development, please visit Clattenburg joins YATR.


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GB at 2017-05-21 22:59:58

Half Time

Minnesota 0 v 1 LA Galaxy


GB at 2017-05-21 22:58:48

Yellow Card for Jelle Van Damme (LA 37) for a reckless challenge. He was fortunate the referee did not see his sarcastic clapping of him for that decision, otherwise he could well have received another yellow card in the same incident.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:55:20

Minimum of 4 added minutes to be played – which was the minimum the referee could have added after all the injuries in this first half


GB at 2017-05-21 22:53:52


Two good “No penalty” decisions for hand ball by the referee that time. No deliberate movement of the hand or arm towards the ball for either of those instances when the ball struck the arm in the LAG Penalty Area.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:51:30

This referees body language is very laid back and calm, but he looks like he needs to look a little more interested to me. Its OK not to be too “flash”, but at the same time you don’t want to look too laid back either.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:48:32

GOAL! Giovani dos Sandos (LA)


GB at 2017-05-21 22:47:09


Good example of the “new” one-handed advantage signal demonstrated by the referee that time. I have not seen many referees use that since it became optional this season.

The important thing for referees is to make sure you use the same signal for the whole game if you want to use the one-handed version.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:44:23

The referee saw that push in the centre circle OK. I am sure he will be embarrassed when he sees the replay of the push on the Minnesota goalkeeper.

The game has still not really come to life yet, but a few more missed pushes in the penalty area and I am sure things could soon liven up.



GB at 2017-05-21 22:40:17

Considering this game is being played on an artificial playing surface, it certainly looks a bit worse for ware!


GB at 2017-05-21 22:37:37


Two wrongs don’t make a right!

Chris Penso misses two fouls in two seconds there inside the Minnesota Penalty area – one for each team!

Difficult to say how he missed either of them as he had a great viewing angle.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:34:32

Good to see the referee being proactive with his words to the players before the corner came across. Getting right into the penalty area so the players could all hear his warning about holding in there.


GB at 2017-05-21 22:30:32

The choice of kit colours is definitely not ideal for the officials or the spectators

GB at 2017-05-21 22:21:52


Breaking news for the professional game in England this week, was the announcement by The Football Association of the implementation of retrospective punishment for players who successfully deliberately deceive the referee with acts of simulation next season. They will also have the power to rescind disciplinary sanctions erroneously issued to “offenders”, who actually made no contact with an opponent. Read what we thought of this announcement here: Retrospective punishment for diving next season

GB at 2017-05-21 22:15:26

With the game underway, commentary will start in a few minutes


GB at 2017-05-21 22:07:04


#YATR are excited to announce that we have launched our new academy which is available to all referees from anywhere in the world. Sign-up now at YATR Academy for a platform like no other which will give you access to:

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  • Insight on the laws of the game.

Play of the Week

GB at 2017-05-21 22:04:57

Play of the Week

Every week, the USA Professional Referees Organisation’s  (PRO) Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer, selects an example from each round of fixtures to highlight best practice, or to offer specific educational advice to officials when situations could have been managed better or when application of law was found wanting.

The most recent educational piece covers Handball. In this one, all the things a referee needs to consider before deciding if an offence of Handball has been committed are laid out in detail, before two recent examples of decision making are presented for discussion – Play of the Week 11: Handball

If you spot something in tonight’s game which you feel would be worthy of a detailed analysis, contact me on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at  Info@you-are-the-ref.com  and I will include the item in our very own  “The Verdict” section in our new Academy section of our website.


GB at 2017-05-21 21:59:13


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Chris Penso

AR1: Jeff Muschik (Technical Area)

AR2: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho

4th Official: Fotis Bazakos

Chris Penso

Today’s Referee has got off to a very positive start to the season with the joint highest amount of assignments so far for this year’s campaign. Chris served of the FIFA List between 2013 and 2015 and takes charge of his 99th MLS game today in a career at the highest level in the USA, which started back as a 4th Official in 2009, then as a Referee in 2011.

This 35 year old whistler and former Ohio State Trooper, started out at the age of 14, which is a very popular age in England for candidates to take their initial training these days.

Chris has proved himself to be one of the most consistent and reliable officials that PRO have to choose from over the past two seasons and is regularly at the top end of the list when it comes to the number of assignments each season.

On paper, the first time two teams meet in a competitive fixture could be a tricky one to set a game plan for, but this referee’s strong no-nonsense, calm style could suit this game.


Here are the referee’s statistics for his MLS regular season games last year:

Games Fouls awarded Yellows Reds Ave Yellow Ave Reds
8 176 32 2 4 0.25

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-05-21 21:54:43

Minnesota United

33     Bobby Shuttleworth (MU 33)

3       Jerome Thiesson  (MU 3)

5       Francisco Calvo (MU 5)

7       Ibson (MU 7)

8       Marc Burch  (MU 8)

9       Abu Danladi (MU 9)

10     Miguel Ibarra  (MU 10)

14     Brent Kallman (MU 14)

18     Kevin Molino  (MU 18)

19     Sam Cronin (MU 19)

21     Christian Ramirez (MU 21)


1       John Alvbage (MU 1)

2       Justin Davis (MU 2)

4       Jermaine Taylor  (MU 4)

11     Johan Venegas (MU 11)

15     Ismaila Jome (MU 15)

17     Collin Martin  (MU 17)

26     Collen Warner  (MU 6)

 LA Galaxy

12     Brian Rowe (LA 12)

3       Ashley Cole (LA 3)

4       Dave Romney (LA 4)

5       Daniel Steres (LA 5)

6       Baggio Husidic (LA 6)

7       Romain Alessandrini (LA 7)

8       João Pedro (LA )

10     Giovani dos Sandos (LA 10)

11     Gyasi Zardes (LA 11)

24     Emmanuel Boateng (LA 24)

37     Jelle Van Damme (LA 37)


16     Nathan Smith (LA 16)

19     Jaime Villarreal (LA 19)

20     Jack McInerney (LA 20)

22     Jon Kempin (LA 22)

25     Rafael Garcia (LA 25)

32     Jack McBean (LA 32)

40     Raul Mendiola (LA 40)


GB at 2017-05-21 21:52:26


The first meeting of these two teams in a Regular Season MLS game pits them together with equal points on the board so far, and both teams looking to establish some consistent positive form this season. One of this year’s expiation teams, Minnesota have at least managed a couple of wins at their new level, but their 6 losses demonstrate the difference in class of the opposition they face at the Elite Level in the States. At least the leaky defence has been sorted out now after the early games in the MLS, after conceding eight goals in their first two home games, they’ve now conceded just one over their last three games at home.

No loss in three for LA Galaxy is a positive turn around for the team which has yet to get all their stuff into one sock yet this season. Last week’s turnover of the NY Red Bulls would have done their confidence no harm at all though coming into today’s game. In fact, the 3-1 win away to the Red Bulls last weekend means they have only lost four of their last 10 away games (three wins three draws).


Western Conference

Pos Club Pld W L T Pts
1 Sporting Kansas City 13 6 3 4 22
2 Houston Dynamo 12 6 5 1 19
3 FC Dallas 10 5 1 4 19
4 San Jose Earthquakes 13 5 4 4 19
5 Portland Timbers 12 5 4 3 18
6 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 11 5 5 1 16
7 Seattle Sounders FC 12 3 5 4 13
8 LA Galaxy 10 3 5 2 11
9 Minnesota United FC 11 3 6 2 11
10 Real Salt Lake 13 3 8 2 11
11 Colorado Rapids 10 2 7 1 7



GB at 2017-05-21 21:47:22



Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Major League Soccer game between Minnesota United and LA Galaxy.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com and be sure to let me know if you are following us from across the pond!