New York Red Bulls v New York City FC


GB at 2017-06-24 21:00:27

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Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-06-24 20:56:04


Right up until the last kick of the game, I though Alan Kelly did not put a foot wrong in that one!

He set his stall out early in the opening stages and never looked like he was going to let the game get away from him. Doing all the hard work in the first half really paid off and the players were able to get on with their jobs in the second half, safe in the knowledge that any reckless challenges or acts of unsporting behaviour would be dealt with. With that certainty in mind, the challenges were often strong and committed, which led to a really competitive game which was a credit to the MLS. And from that standpoint, all the officials played a full and active part in the spectacle.

I remember seeing Alan Kelly referee his first game in the MLS 3 years ago, and he has certainly matured from that performance. Of course he was an experienced referee when he was parachuted in from Ireland, but now he seems to look far more part of the furniture in this game. He was relaxed but always firm. He looked on his toes throughout and read the game to ensure he was close in when decisions needed to be made. He did the basics things well, which always goes down well with me, and this lead to him looking far more confident than he did in his first season in the MLS.

There was never a hint of this game getting out of control, BUT it was just so disappointing that he failed to put the final cap on an excellent performance by ducking the BIG CALL in the last second of the game. I am sure when he looks back at that wild and reckless challenge by Kemar Lawrence (RB 92) right out on the touch-line, he will be disappointed as well that he did not read that as endangering his opponent’s safety, and issue a red card instead. I also felt that his AR could have helped him with that one as well, and convinced the referee that a red card was the correct course of action!

But after a game like that, it is important to finish on a high point in this summary, so I must say very well done and congratulations Mr Kelly, I thought that you were faultless today for 95 minutes and 59 seconds!

More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-06-24 20:34:49


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Next up for RefCam is tomorrow night at 8:00 GMT (Noon LT) Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2017-06-24 20:33:48

Full Time

New York Red Bulls 0 v 2 New York City FC


GB at 2017-06-24 20:31:27


What a pity that Alan Kelly just seemed to drop his guard then with literally the last “kick” of the game.

Kemar Lawrence (RB 92) can feel very lucky there as his wild swipe at the NYCFC player only resulted in a yellow card Yellow Card. At the very least that was dark orange! More of that one in my final summary.


GB at 2017-06-24 20:27:01

Kelly is consistent right to the end with that foul given for the careless challenge.


GB at 2017-06-24 20:23:30

minimum of 4 added minutes


GB at 2017-06-24 20:20:47

Yellow Card Yellow Card for Alexander Ring (NYC 8) for his reckless challenge from behind. The card was flashed very smartly that time whilst all the others have been issued slowly in this game. Both styles work at this level, but the quick yellow is not something to be used much below the professional game where it is expected sometimes.


GB at 2017-06-24 20:16:51

Less than 10 minutes left now for the officials to keep their concentration and cap off and excellent all round performance


GB at 2017-06-24 20:14:32

And there he is again when the strong careless challenge goes in to use his positive body language to control the players and explain his decision.


GB at 2017-06-24 20:12:31

Alan Kelly really is on fire in this one! Alex Muyl (RB 19) tried to con him then with that clear act of simulation in the NYCFC Penalty Area and correctly received the Yellow Card Yellow Card he deserved!


GB at 2017-06-24 20:09:10


That was an example of where the referee can be too close to the play though. As the challenges we going in, the referee decided that as NYCFC seemed to regain possession of the ball, then no foul had been committed. When the careless lunge then went in on David Villa (NYC 7), I don’t think Kelly had a “view” of it as he was turning because he was too close. That at least made it easier for him to “sell” his decision to play on though, and he was also right there to calm the players down with a few choice words and excellent calm body language.


GB at 2017-06-24 20:04:55

Alan Kelly moved right over to with 15 yards of the right touch-line then for that NYCFC throw-in in the ARs corner. That just demonstrates how keen he is to squeeze the play in this game to stay close to the action.


GB at 2017-06-24 19:59:59

GOAL!  Ben Sweat (NYC 2)

New York Red Bulls 0 v 2 New York City FC


GB at 2017-06-24 19:58:45


I appreciate what the referee is doing now as he is trying to keep the game going as much as he can, but he knows when he has to stop the play or risk his credibility


GB at 2017-06-24 19:55:46

Every time there is a call to make in this game, the referee has been breathing down the players necks. As I said in the first half, he is hardly the quickest referee, but he uses his experience really well to get himself into some excellent positions in fluid play.


GB at 2017-06-24 19:49:58

Excellent sprinting demonstrated by Mathew Nelson then as he chased the ball all the way back to the goal-line. All the officials definitely seem to be up for this one today.


GB at 2017-06-24 19:48:01

10 minutes into the second half and the hard work this referee did to set his stall out in the opening stages seems to be paying dividends as he is able to let the rope out a little now without endangering his total control


GB at 2017-06-24 19:45:09


Very good positioning by the referee again as he is right in there and looking down the barrel as that trip goes in on the edge of the Red Bulls Penalty Area – good decision!


GB at 2017-06-24 19:43:34

Alan Kelly starting the second half as confidently as he finished the first as he shows off his communication skills with the players to try to keep the lid on this game.


GB at 2017-06-24 19:42:18

Second half underway

GB at 2017-06-24 19:41:16


You Are The Ref recently announced 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 . As well as taking on a coaching role during the week long tournament, Mark will also be refereeing the final game, which will be a great thrill for the young players. For more details of this exciting development, please visit Clattenburg joins YATR.

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-06-24 19:33:14


That was one of the best first half performances I have seen from a referee in the MSL over the past 3 years.

Alan Kelly made his intentions clear to the players with the first caution in the 10th minute, then continued to be consistent with unsporting behaviour. He seemed to be reading the game really well and was “just” ahead of the players before they pushed their luck and did something more than reckless!

With a game as “big” as this, the referee needs to let it “breath” when he can, but he also needs to make sure it never starts to get away from his total control. I think Kelly has managed that so far, but make no doubt about it, this one is not over yet by a long way, so consistency will be the name of the game from now on.

More of the same will do nicely!

GB at 2017-06-24 19:27:03

The stark reality of the age profile of those referees who will be operating on the EPL next season is clearly laid to rest in this excellent recent article Age profile-shows elite refereeing needs new blood which is compounded when it comes to how English referees are currently represented on UEFA’s Elite list  Hackett’s verdict

The former Head of Refereeing in England’s review of last season also makes for interesting reading if you have not caught up with it yet: Keith Hackett reviews the 2016-17 season for English refereeing

As always, we value your opinions on all matters concerning referees from where ever you are following us around the world, so please keep your comments coming in on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

The Ref Show will be back on Monday and is now available as a Ref Show Podcast as well as through the regular link from our website Ref Show and via a number of local TV Stations in England. Ref Show Extra which is a more in-depth look at key match incidents from the weekend action is now also available at  YATR Academy

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


GB at 2017-06-24 19:23:54

Half Time

New York Red Bulls 0 v 1 New York City FC


GB at 2017-06-24 19:21:20

Minimum of 2 added minutes


GB at 2017-06-24 19:20:23

The 4th Official is getting very busy again between the players on the touch line.. Its all very good to be pro-active, but that is not really his job!


GB at 2017-06-24 19:17:49

That was an interesting little cameo as the 4th Official told the player where to take the trow-in from. I think that is taking the term of “assisting to referee to control the game” a bit too far for me!


GB at 2017-06-24 19:14:49

Alan Kelly has never stood out to me as the fastest referee over 20 yards, but is doing well in this game to anticipate where the play is going to be in order to stay within a credible distance from where to make his decisions. Particularly in the centre of the field of play


GB at 2017-06-24 19:12:36

GOAL!  Jack Harrison (NYC 11)

NY Red Bulls 0 v 1 New York City FC


GB at 2017-06-24 19:10:32


Consistent officiating again as that clear trip from behind gets the next Yellow Card Yellow Card for Thomas McNamara (NYC 15)

I have to say, as the tempo and temperature has been rising, none of these yellow card incidents could have been safely managed without disciplinary sanctions.



GB at 2017-06-24 19:07:13

VAR is to be introduced in Major League Soccer from August 5, as well as from the third round of the upcoming season’s FA Cup in England, ahead of a potential wider implementation which will be decided upon sometime after Russia 2018.

The new system will be used to rule on the validity of contentious goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity.


GB at 2017-06-24 19:06:17

Well the players are starting to get frustrated and showing their feelings towards each other. The Referee has seemed to read this coming so far but may have missed the ball being kicked at a Red Bulls player then. That would have been an interesting one for the VAR!


GB at 2017-06-24 19:03:34


Very good refereeing again there by Kelly as he consistently picks off that clear holding offence which receives the same punishment as the earlier one with the second Yellow Card of the game going to Maxime Chanot (NYC 4)


GB at 2017-06-24 18:55:38


The first sign of petulance from the players shown to the referee then. Kelly is having none of that and is doing a good job so far to get a strong personality across in this game. It is so important in games like this to start strong and remain strong.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:52:13

And immediately after that first act of unsporting behaviour, the tempo rises straight away. The Referee has continued to stay close to the play and has realised that he cannot allow the strength of these challenges to rise too much.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:49:13


What a difference a minute makes! First Yellow Card Yellow Card excellently recognised by the referee for Dane Richards (RB 62) for his clear foul which stopped a promissing attacking move for the NYCFC player


GB at 2017-06-24 18:46:27

All the officials will be well happy with the first 10 minutes as both teams are behaving themselves


GB at 2017-06-24 18:44:52

Alan Kelly close to the play again there to sell his positive intervention for the second foul of the game with a strong indication that the player had been pushed.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:42:37


The opening exchanges are fast and furious but so far no sign of any excessive force being used.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:39:48

Excellent teamwork then as the AR just kept his flag down and crossed hands as surreptitiously as he could with his eyes on the referee, who took the lead the other way. Neatly done with not fuss to get the direction decision correct.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:37:57

A couple of pushes telegraphed the first foul of the game right in front of the referee which it was important to give from his position

Kick Off

GB at 2017-06-24 18:35:19

New York Red Bulls won the toss so it will be New York City 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 2017-06-24 18:33:16


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Play of the Week

GB at 2017-06-24 18:32:17

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 three offside decisions from MLS Week 16, after an excellent summary about whether the term “benefit of the doubt” is acceptable or relevant in today’s technological age of VARs. Paul also reveals that the most recent PRO stat confirmed that offside calls by ARs in the MLS was at an impressive 97.4 % accuracy rate. Play of the Week 16 – Offside position

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  and I will include the item in our very own  “The Verdict” section in our new Academy section of our website.


GB at 2017-06-24 18:30:35

#MLSsoccer #NYvNYC

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Alan Kelly

AR1: Mathew Nelson (Technical Area)

AR2: Adam Wienckowski

4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira


Last season’s MLS Cup Referee and MLS Referee of the Year for the last two years, gets the honour of taking charge of the first Regular Season clash between these local rivals in 2017.

The vastly experienced ex-FIFA Referee from Ireland, will be fully aware that the opening minutes of this encounter will be vital in respect to what game plan he will be able to employ for the rest of the match, and he will need his thinking head on for this one if he is going to walk away unscathed.

Tensions are sure to be high out there, so it will be vital for all the officials that they hit the ground running. Big games like this can often go one of two ways, but very rarely do they fail to deliver the odd major talking point. Establishing his authority in the early stages should be high on the referee’s list, then keeping out of the limelight whilst the players take centre stage will be his next objective. Going in too early with the first Yellow Card in a game like this could have a detrimental effect on the respect received from the players, and may even lead to a soft Red Card for a second Yellow later in the game, but failing to recognise the first major pinch point and letting it pass without the appropriate sanction can also be a recipe for disaster. It will all be about getting the balance right, and with that likely to be on a knife-edge, the Assistants Referees will also have a very important part to play to ensure this game is not decided on a controversial decision.

I expect today’s referee will have done his research on the last time the teams met just 9 days ago. Just 3 yellows and a relatively average foul count in that game does not give much away, but I would not be at all surprised if a call has gone in to last week’s referee, Jose Carlos Rivero, just to make sure that there is nothing “left over” from the last game which Mr Kelly needs to be aware of!


Here are the referee’s statistics for his MLS regular season games so far this year:

Games Fouls awarded Yellows Reds Ave Yellow Ave Reds
11 277 35 2 3.18 0.18


Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-06-24 18:28:59

New York Red Bulls

31     Luis Robles (RB 31)

4       Tyler Adams (RB 4)

8       Felipe Martins (RB 8)

16     Sacha Kljestan (RB 16)

19     Alex Muyl (RB 19)

33     Aaron Long (RB 33)

62     Dane Richards (RB 62)

77     Daniel Royer (RB 77)

78     Aurélien Collin (RB 78)

92     Kemar Lawrence (RB 92)

99     Bradley Wright-Phillips (RB 99)


5       Connor Lade (RB 5)

15     Sal Zizzo (RB 15)

18     Ryan Meara (RB 18)

27     Sean Davis (RB 27)

30     Gonzalo Veron (RB 30)

47     Hassan Ndam (RB 47)

55     Damien Perrinelle (RB 55)

 New York City FC

1       Sean Johnson (NYC 1)

2       Ben Sweat (NYC 2)

4       Maxime Chanot (NYC 4)

6       Alexander Callens (NYC 6)

7       David Villa (NYC 7)

8       Alexander Ring (NYC 8)

11     Jack Harrison (NYC 11)

15     Thomas McNamara (NYC 15)

23     Jefferson Mena (NYC 23)

27     RJ Allen (NYC 27)

30     Yangel Herrera (NYC 30)


3       Ethan White (NYC 3)

5       Mikey Lopez (NYC 5)

9       Sean Ugo Okoli (NYC 9)

13     Frederic Brillant (NYC 13)

21     Andrea Pirlo (NYC 21)

22     Ronald Matarrita (NYC 22)

25     Eirik Johansen (NYC 25)

GB at 2017-06-24 18:25:23

#MLSsoccer #NYvNYC

I have said it before, and I will say it again, local derbies don’t get much bigger than the Hudson River Derby in any sport! The teams from the Big Apple meet for the second time of the 4 scheduled clashes this season, with the Red Bulls already stealing the march with a  1 – 0 victory over their arch rivals in the U.S. Open Cup just 9 days ago. Despite the current League standings, ever since their emergence as an expansion team 2 years ago, New York City have yet to even start making any impression on their more mature noisy neighbours, as the Red Bulls have won six of the seven all-time meetings since 2014.

Even the slight advantage of the familiarity with the tight dimensions of the pitch at the Yankee Stadium has had no positive effect for NYCFC so far, so they will need to dig deeper to make an impression at the Reb Bull Arena, where the atmosphere should be electric.

Having been dumped out of the Open Cup at first time of asking for a third straight year, by today’s opponents, NYCFC will no doubt be happy that they have not had to wait long for revenge in this first of three MLS regular season encounters.

New York City came away the winners in an ugly, rain-soaked game against Seattle Sounders last week that arguably should’ve been abandoned. Players ran, slipped and fell in comical fashion in the game which was covered by RefCam. The ball skidded, then stopped, as both teams struggled to adapt to the conditions, so I hope this is less of a farce today so the players can put on a more traditional exhibition of footballing skills.

Eastern Conference

Pos Club Pld W L T Pts
1 Toronto FC 17 10 2 5 35
2 Chicago Fire 16 9 3 4 31
3 New York City FC 16 8 5 3 27
4 Orlando City SC 17 7 5 5 26
5 New York Red Bulls 16 7 7 2 23
6 Columbus Crew SC 17 7 9 1 22
7 Atlanta United FC 16 6 7 3 21
8 New England Revolution 17 5 7 5 20
9 D.C. United 16 5 8 3 18
10 Montreal Impact 14 4 4 6 18
11 Philadelphia Union 15 4 7 4 16



GB at 2017-06-24 18:22:45

#MLSsoccer #NYvNYC #NYDerby


Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Major League Soccer game between New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. Minute by minute commentary from the Match Official’s perspective is about to come.

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