New York City FC v Toronto FC



GB at 2016-03-14 00:16:54

Another exciting game for our RefCam followers with a few talking points for those studying the officials’ performances.

For me I felt that this game was controlled really well by a very experienced referee. He always  takes on the big decisions head on, and this helped him gain the respect of the players who rarely questioned his judgements throughout.

I covered the debate about a possible handball in the lead up to the Toronto first goal at half time and there was no way Alan Kelly could have seen that from where he was positioned anyway. Although I still don’t personally think it was deliberate hand ball, the only official who could have seen it would have been AR2 Eric Weisbrod, and it would not have been a credible decision for him to intervene from his position.

Whilst on positioning, I did feel that the referee favoured the central track up and down the field of play, but I will admit that this is not an easy field of play to keep out of the way one. That said, I have seen better examples of how to cope with this narrow pitch than I witnessed today.

Setting that aside, there is no doubt that Alan Kelly showed how to manage a potentially difficult game here with just 3 yellow cards. What impressed me the most was the way he stuck at it right to the end to “close the game out safely.”

The referee was ably assisted by two good colleagues on the line, and apart from that single foul throw which I noted in the last minute, I thought they both put in excellent shifts!

That it from me for tonight, I hope you can join me again soon.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-03-14 00:03:47

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


Still to come in the next couple of days:


14th March, EPL, Leicester City v Newcastle United 8:00pm


15th March, Champions League, Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev 7:45pm


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


GB at 2016-03-14 00:03:12

Full Time

New York City 2 v 2 Toronto FC


GB at 2016-03-14 00:02:27

That would have been interesting if Toronto scored from their last attack as the throw-in which set up the play was clearly illegal as the player had his foot off the ground when putting the ball back into play. That was the first blot of Mr Eric Weisbrod’s copy sheet in this game, as it was his job to spot that!


GB at 2016-03-13 23:59:23

Yellow Card Ashtone Morgan (T 5) picks up the 3rd yellow of the game as the referee keeps control right to the end.


minimum of 3 added minutes to be played



GB at 2016-03-13 23:58:15

Definitely only a Yellow Card deserved for Mikey Lopez (NYC 5) for that illegal use of his arm


GB at 2016-03-13 23:53:00

Once again the referee showing how to close out a game by picking off the little offences right in front of him


GB at 2016-03-13 23:51:56

Eric keeps picking off these off-sides with ease in this game


GB at 2016-03-13 23:51:03

Good management of the position of the throw-in. Alan Kelly showing good attention to detail to law in this game.


GB at 2016-03-13 23:49:28

Alan Kelly looks very calm after giving that free kick to NYCFC, but he will be disappointed when he sees that one back as the New York City player conned him that time. Luckily nothing came of the free kick


GB at 2016-03-13 23:47:48

Foul given for a push in the back – but it would have been sold so much better if the referee was side-on to the dropping ball


GB at 2016-03-13 23:45:44

GOAL! Sebastian Giovinco (T 10)

New York City 2 v 2 Toronto FC

Well that cecertainly quietened the crowd and set this up for a frenetic last 15 minutes



GB at 2016-03-13 23:43:54

Good to see the referee still using the traditional discrete hand signal to lead the assistant for a throw-in direction. It it OK using the communication set, but what if it is not working?


GB at 2016-03-13 23:42:06

Alan Kelly has often seemed stuck to the spot in the centre as the ball has binged around him. I have a lot of sympathy for the referee as he has to pick his spot to stand very carefully on this pitch.

There was a rare time when he pressed out towards his assistant in that last NTCFC attack.


GB at 2016-03-13 23:38:54

That looked like a case of who shouted loudest got the throw-in as the Toronto player was more vocal, even though he obviously touched the ball last


GB at 2016-03-13 23:37:29

Excellent sprinting and quick movement near the corner flag again by Eric Weisbrod – he has really impressed me in this game

GB at 2016-03-13 23:36:01

I was interested to read the article on the PRO web site recently regarding the new official time keepers for the MLS. At first I thought that meant that the referee was no longer going to be the time-keeper, then I realised it was a new Sponsor instead.


GB at 2016-03-13 23:33:52

Tempo really rising again now. Toronto took a quick free kick for off-side from the wrong place then needed to break up the game with a careless challenge beforeNYC won it back – the Toronto player was lucky not to take a yellow card for the team then


GB at 2016-03-13 23:30:35

Brian Dunn keeps the average up with another correct off-side as well


GB at 2016-03-13 23:29:48

Another routine off-side for Eric on this near side – all off-side decision today have been credible so far


GB at 2016-03-13 23:28:17

That was better movement by the referee at that corner as he adjusted his position along the edge of the penalty area on the far post


GB at 2016-03-13 23:23:38

I know I am keeping on about this, but there was another example then where the referee looked like a rabbit in a cars headlights as the ball came towards him as he did not know which way to move to get out of the way. This would be a topic I expect PRO to cover with all their referees to share best practice at this stadium


GB at 2016-03-13 23:20:12

Yellow Card Federico Bravo (NYC 6) for persistent infringement of the laws of the game as so clearly demonstrated by the referee. Excellent communication to everyone


GB at 2016-03-13 23:19:09

I saw Mark Geiger referee on this pitch last season and he was almost running off the field of play over the touch-lines in order to keep out of the way whilst maintaining the angle and keeping the ball between him and his assistant


GB at 2016-03-13 23:16:57

See how the referee got sucked right into the play again then as the players almost had to push him out of the way


GB at 2016-03-13 23:15:58

Safety first will be the order of the day in the early stages in the second half for the referee. He knows both teams have come out fired up so he will be keen to keep a firm grip on the proceedings


GB at 2016-03-13 23:14:45

Brian Dunn showing how he knows the importance of keeping eyes on the referee whilst signalling for a throw-in as well


GB at 2016-03-13 23:13:01

New York City get the second half underway


GB at 2016-03-13 23:10:43

After a very quiet opening 20 minutes the referee had to give a penalty then had a big call to make for not “deliberate” handball in the build-up for the second goal. I am willing to back Alan Kelly on both of those decisions which capped a very solid first half performance.


It is difficult to comment on positioning and movement on this small pitch as it is often a case of keeping out of the way rather that getting closer! Alan Kelly has not had many opportunities to really stretch his legs yet, but is moving around comfortably.


Going back to the second NYCFC goal, I still think that Villa di not “deliberately” handle to ball – the commentator in the coverage I am watching disagrees, but has just made the classic statement “the ball hit him on the right arm”- so I therefore rest my case! If anything there was more chance of Villa being penalised for pushing the defender away with his arm, than trying to control the ball with it.


There was another possible talking point right at the end of the first half as the “minimum” of 1 added minute was well gone before the free kick was taken from which Toronto scored. BUT – the fact was that the offence leading to the free kick occurred inside that minimum 1 added minute, therefore the referee had every right to allow the free kick to be taken. We had a major incident in an English Football League game recently when referee stopped the game as the ball was going into the goal. There is just no need for that, common sense, confidence and experience should lead the referee to handle all those incidents to the expectations of everyone in the game.


The game is set up nicely now after the late Toronto goal, so the officials need to come out and hit the ground running again.


GB at 2016-03-13 23:06:16

I hope the first sight of the new Law changes highlighted by YATR this week is not indicative of what is to come, New IFAB law creating confusion instead of clarity? Check this out and let me know if you think all the exceptions defined are going to make it easier for officials to ascertain whether it should be a red card or yellow card for offences in the Penalty Area next season?

Last Monday’s edition of Ref Show was certainly packed with incidents to discuss and this one already looks like it has plenty to get stuck into following the antics at Goodison Park yesterday. You can always catch up with all the previous editions here videos

All the other content on our site continues to provide a deep insight into refereeing matters with video features and Blogs with regular contributions from all around the world.

With such impressive content and access to top officials who are willing to give help and support, YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

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 2016-03-13 22:56:56

GOAL!  Damien Perquis (T 25)

New York City FC 2 v 1 Toronto FC

Half Time


GB at 2016-03-13 22:55:07

Good positive body language by the referee then – just calm down is the clear message with both palms pressing down towards the ground.

1 added minute to come


GB at 2016-03-13 22:53:32

The game looks like it is warming up nicely just before the break


GB at 2016-03-13 22:52:02

Once again EW demonstrates how to keep your eyes on the referee whilst you signal for a throw-in


GB at 2016-03-13 22:49:57

Excellent sprint of the mark by Eric Weisbrod then – just what makes an assistant stand out from his peers!


GB at 2016-03-13 22:47:45

Both the tempo and temperature have definitely gone up since the first goal and the referee is doing well to have more of an impact on the play now.


GB at 2016-03-13 22:46:13

I am so pleased that Mix Diskerud (NYC 10) did no go to ground under that challenge from the goalkeeper – so refreshing not to see another act of simulation for the officials to judge on


GB at 2016-03-13 22:44:52

After a very quiet opening 20 minutes the referee has had to give a penalty then had a big call to make for not “deliberate” handball in the build up for the second goal – that’s just what I was talking about when I said the officials need to be ready for anything


GB at 2016-03-13 22:42:03

Brian Dunn keeping up with play well then to be right on the goal-line to signal the corner


GB at 2016-03-13 22:40:29

GOAL! David Villa (NYC 7)

New York City FC 2 v 0 Toronto FC

Very interesting debate now about was that deliberate hand ball by Villa as he controlled the ball just before the second goal.

I know his arm was up, but I believe it was as part of his challenge for the ball, therefore even if he gained control of the ball “by accident” – it is not an offence.


GB at 2016-03-13 22:36:51

Quite right Alan Kelly – not to allow that quick free kick whilst the ball was moving


GB at 2016-03-13 22:35:59

That goal was just what the game needed to liven it up a bit – the officials will need to rise their profiles for a while as well


GB at 2016-03-13 22:34:51

GOAL! David Villa (NYC 7)

New York City FC 1 v 0 Toronto FC


GB at 2016-03-13 22:33:58

No doubt the referee was in a great position to give that penalty to NYC FC.

Just a pity that the Toronto player made such a meal of it. It was a trip, no need to try to con the referee when you have been tripped!


GB at 2016-03-13 22:32:17



GB at 2016-03-13 22:30:25

First big call of the game with straight forward careless challenge there 2 yards outside of the NYCFC penalty area.

The referee reminds all the players in the wall to keep their arms down – good communication


GB at 2016-03-13 22:27:34

Interesting to see the referee throwing something to his 4th official then – I wonder if it was the coin he used to toss before the start of the game?


GB at 2016-03-13 22:26:14

More best practice shown again by Assistant Eric Weisbrod on the near side to the camera as he kept a close eye on the player’s feet as he took that last throw-in


GB at 2016-03-13 22:23:52

I wonder of the Toronto player was asking Brian Dunn if he saw him being blocked off there? Looked like he may have had a shout for a foul before the goalkeeper cleared the ball


GB at 2016-03-13 22:22:03

The camera shot from behind the goal of that shot by NYCFC showed the referee still a couple of yards outside of the penalty area, I would like to see him pressing in a little closer in those situation – no problem on such a small pitch


GB at 2016-03-13 22:20:12

10 minutes gone and the players are still taking it easy on each other – this also gives the officials an opportunity to settle into the game. You need to be ready for the unexpected though


GB at 2016-03-13 22:18:42

Brian Dunn doing well to flag early for his first off-side as he didn’t want the offensive player to clash with the goalkeeper. Referees appreciate eraly flags in those situations


GB at 2016-03-13 22:15:22

Alan Kelly already showing the benefits of a good backwards running technique to back out of the way on a narrow pitch


GB at 2016-03-13 22:13:47

Best practice demonstrated again then by BD as he stayed in line with his off-side call until the goalkeeper had placed the ball


GB at 2016-03-13 22:12:11

excellent neat throw-in signal then by BD – and also good to see him staying focussed on the referee and not looking across the field of play


GB at 2016-03-13 22:10:56

This is the third game I have done for RefCam at this Stadium, so I will be interested to see how this referee adapts to the small playing area and keeps out of the way

GB at 2016-03-13 22:09:37

AR1: Brian Dunn (BD) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-03-13 22:09:09

New York City won the toss so it will be Toronto FC 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 2016-03-13 22:03:32

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to sing the nation anthem

Play of the week

GB at 2016-03-13 22:00:27

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.


Last weekend’s first PRO Play of the Week featured an excellent example of how Teamwork between the officials in the Orlando City versus Real Salt Lake game resulted in them correctly ruling out a goal for off-side. You can see this latest training piece here PRO MLS Wk1 – 2016 Play of the Week


If you spot something in tonight’s game which you feel would be worthy of a shout for the Play of the Week this week, contact me on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-03-13 21:58:14

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Alan Kelly (AK)

AR1: Brian Dunn (BD)

AR2: Eric Weisbrod (EW)

4th Official: Mark Kadlecik (MK)

Alan Kelly

Once again PRO are taking no chances with this game with last year’s MLS Referee of the Year being handed his second assignment. The former FIFA Referee from Ireland clocked up 21 regular season matches last season and was also appointed to Referee the NASL Championship Final.

Alan joins Ted Unkel in being the only Referee to be out two weeks in a row so far this season and was also one of only two referees who brandished a red card last week, when he gave Seattle’s Oniel Fisher his marching orders after just 41 minutes of the new campaign for serious foul play. So look out in this one, as this referee always means business!

AR1 Brian Dunn also gets his second outing in two weeks to take his tally to 64 MLS games since joining the list in 2012, and it is first time out this season for AR2 Eric Weisbrod for his 23rd all-time appointment since 2014. (Eric was recently featured on the PRO web site)

Mark Kadlecik is a member of the PRO 4th Officials Roster, which is something we do not have as a dedicated list in the EPL.


You can catch up with our lead article on Alan Kelly from last season here: This Reffin’ Ladder

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-03-13 21:56:42

New York City



Joshua Saunders (NYC 12)

Jason Hernandez (NYC 2)

Federico Bravo (NYC 6)

David Villa (NYC 7)

Mix Diskerud (NYC 10)

Frederic Brillant (NYC 13)

Thomas McNamara (NYC 15)

Khiry Shelton (NYC 19)

Ronald Matarrita (NYC 22)

Andrea Pirlo (NYC 21)

Tony Taylor (NYC 99)


Ethan White (NYC 3)

Mikey Lopez (NYC 5)

Steven Mendoza (NYC 9)

Patrick Mullins (NYC 14)

Mehdi Ballouchy (NYC 20)

Eirik Johansen (NYC 25)

Diego Martínez (NYC 30)


Toronto FC



Clint Irwin (T 1)

Justin Morrow (T 2)

Drew Moor (T 3)

Michael Bradley (T 4)

Will Johnson (T 7)

Tsubasa Endoh (T 9)

Sebastian Giovinco (T 10)

Marky Delgado (T 18)

Jonathan Osorio (T 21)

Damien Perquis (T 25)

Steven Beitashour (T 33)


Ashtone Morgan (T 5)

Nick Hagglund (T 6)

Benoit Cheyrou (T 8)

Mo Babouli (T 11)

Jordan Hamilton (T 22)

Josh Williams (T 23)

Quillan Roberts (T 40)


GB at 2016-03-13 21:51:43

NYC FC played their first game at Yankee Stadium back in March 2015. Because of the unique dimensions of the Yankee Stadium, the field of play is only 110 yards long by 70 yards wide — the smallest field in all of Major League Soccer, and the smallest allowed by FIFA’s international guidelines. For the second week running, Toronto make the short hop in MLS terms of just 340 miles across the border, which makes this almost a local derby!

With New York City getting off to a flier in a pulsating 7 goal thriller against Chicago last Sunday, and Toronto also notching up a credible away win here against the Big Apple’s other MLS set-up on the first day of the season, this one already has all the hallmarks to be a cracker!

Going head-to-head, the teams have only crossed swords on 3 previous occasions resulting in two 2-0 wins for New York City and one amazing 4-4 tie last year which contained 4 penalties and 5 yellow cards.  Let’s hope we get another goal feast again today!


GB at 2016-03-13 21:50:31

Week 2


Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Major League Soccer game between New York City and Toronto FC.

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