Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution


GB at 2017-07-03 00:38:59

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Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-07-03 00:37:20

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs

That turned out to be routine game for the officials, with no-one talking about them, except maybe for the PK call in the first couple of minutes. I have yet to see a camera angle to confirm if the contact with the ball and the player’s arm was inside or outside of the penalty area, although I personally did not feel the player’s actions were deliberate anyway. Incidentally, the whole of the ball does not need to be inside of the penalty area, as the width of the lines are included in the areas they define. Just like a goalkeeper can handle the ball when it is not completely outside the penalty area line as it is still “inside the box” – then the ball only has to have part of it over the line if it is deliberately handled by a defender, for it to be a penalty. At the of the day, the PK decision did not affect the final result, as the right team won by a mile.

Overall the referee’s detection rate was far better than the last time I watched him, and the final foul count of bang on the average 23 for the MLS, was pretty much all there were in this game. Teamwork was sound as well, with no surprises from the ARs.

The Referee used his personality and calm demeanour to help build up a rapport with the players, but I have to say that really should stop short of being too “touchy – feely” at times. There were many examples of this referee making physical contact with the players during this game – I know it works for him – but from a training and educational perspective, I have to say that this is not best practice in order to maintain the professional decorum.

Rant over, Mr Penso and his team can safely file that one under “Another satisfactory performance”, and the debate about whether the PK was correct or not can go on for as long as it likes! What did you think?  Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2017-07-03 00:14:02

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage today.

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

GB at 2017-07-03 00:13:08

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GB at 2017-07-03 00:12:11

Full Time

Philadelphia Union 3 v 0 New England Revolution


GB at 2017-07-03 00:06:32

Minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-07-03 00:05:28

This one looks like there is still some work for the officials to do in the closing stages to bring this one to a satisfactory conclusion.


GB at 2017-07-03 00:03:44

The smiles and friendly banter between the referee and the player then after that blatant careless challenge, sums up how Chris Penso likes to do business!


GB at 2017-07-02 23:59:32

Good advantage played there by the referee and good to see a clear quick signal so the players were aware that the offence had been spotted


GB at 2017-07-02 23:55:24

GOAL! wonder strike from Roland Alberg (PU 10)

Philadelphia Union 3 v 0 New England Revolution

GB at 2017-07-02 23:53:35

15 minutes plus stoppages remaining as play recommences.

GB at 2017-07-02 23:52:04

A sensible hydration break taking place.


GB at 2017-07-02 23:49:57

Chris Penso’s excellent fitness was demonstrated then as he was deep inside of the penalty area as the final shot went in from the Philly attack


GB at 2017-07-02 23:48:13

yellow card Yellow Cardfor that VERY reckless challenge by Benjamin Angoua (NER 4) just outside of the penalty area


GB at 2017-07-02 23:44:15


One again we see Chris Penso showing his personal style as he manhandles the player to stop him running away then hugs the to protagonists in that petulant squabble. Yes I know it works for him, but it would be dangerous for young referees new to the game to try to copy those tactics!


GB at 2017-07-02 23:39:23


The officials did well that time to say “no PK” to Philadelphia that time. The referee was not too far behind but did not really have the angle to make the call as he was directly behind the player who went to ground. AR 2 Uranga was also right not the “guess” from his angle which was square on at 90 degrees. With neither official having the optimum angle – NO PK was the correct call!


GB at 2017-07-02 23:35:42

No foul that time as the players just ran into each other


GB at 2017-07-02 23:34:54

There was a clear show of disagreement with the referee after that award of a free kick to Philadelphia. This referee obviously has a very high threshold for that type of behaviour, but he needs to show signs that he will not tolerate it all game.


GB at 2017-07-02 23:32:20

A moments lack of concentration from Nick Uranga that time. Looked like he was indecisive about giving a foul, which led to him signalling for the throw-in in the wrong direction.


GB at 2017-07-02 23:28:13

The pace of the game has certainly picked up already in this second half and the players are happy to take the little pushes and pulls to keep the game moving. The referee does not need to be too fussy when the teams are both reacting like this.


GB at 2017-07-02 23:25:45

GOAL! Ilsinho (PU 25)

Philadelphia Union 2 v 0 New England Revolution


GB at 2017-07-02 23:23:04

Second half is underway

GB at 2017-07-02 23:22:20

Thanks for your Tweet Matt:

@youaretheref Quick call, and 100% correct

Were you referring to the PK?

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-07-02 23:20:06

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs

This fixture has a history of being a tough game and so far I think the Referee has done well not to miss hardly any opportunity to keep the lid on things by giving the free kicks which the players are expecting.

His calm demeanour has worked well for him, but I really cannot condone referees shaking hands with players of putting their arms around them etc., its just not professional.

The teamwork has been sound, as the ARs have toned in to the referee’s tolerance level and are assisting him well.

Having just seen a re-run of the PK in the 2nd minute, my opinion is still that the ball was played towards the arm and there was no movement of the arm towards the ball, so I don’t think that was deliberate. None the less, the referee was big and brave, and well placed to judge if the “contact” was inside the penalty area or not.

I get the feeling this could get feisty, so the Referee has not done himself any harm so far and consistency will need to be the name of the game.

GB at 2017-07-02 23:11:06


Anyone who was watching the Confederations Cup Final earlier will have seen another total disaster in the use of the VAR. 62 minutes in and Chile’s #18 strikes an opponent on the side of the face with his elbow, having clenched his fist first, which is normally the “give-away” that he know what he was doing. I am not sure if the Referee thought of using the VAR himself or not, or whether the team told him to come over and have a look, but either way, even after seeing the incident for himself, an act of violent conduct results in a Yellow card – unbelievable! Check out the Ref Show tomorrow for a detailed examination of how VAR has worked (or not) throughout the whole competition. 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

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GB at 2017-07-02 23:09:39

Half Time

Philadelphia Union 1 v 0 New England Resolution


GB at 2017-07-02 23:08:20

First yellow card Yellow Cardof the games goes to Je-Vaughn Watson (NER 15) following that reckless challenge. That was worthy of a yellow on its own, but Watson had been clocking up the fouls as well.


GB at 2017-07-02 23:05:56

It was good to see the referee having a public word with Oguchi Onyewu (PU 5) either for his silly push of his opponent or his response to the whistle by kicking the ball away, but I really don’t think there is any need for the hand shake at the end!

minimum 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-07-02 23:00:17

Not the cleanest of signalling that time from Mr Uranga, but a good decision none the less for another infringement right in front of him.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:57:08


The referee was very close in then before that corner came over and I am surprised he did not seem to be very pro-active in talking to the players as they pushed and pulled each other before the ball was played in. That was one area the PRO wanted their referees to clamp down on this season.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:53:39

Good teamwork then as Nick Uranga gave the referee a good positive flag for that foul right near to him. That signal mirrored the tolerance level shown by the referee in this game so far.

GB at 2017-07-02 22:50:29

When contact is made like that, although the offence was dangerous play, the contact means in must be a direct free kick re-start.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:48:36

Well done to the referee there as he called the trainer on immediately as he saw the foot catch the Philadelphia player in the head.Also well done for not over-reacting with any more than a free kick in that situation. The play was definitely careless but not reckless as he did not know where the player was when he attempted the bicycle kick.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:44:37


This is a good spell for the referee at the moment as he really seems to be getting the feel for this and is picking off these careless challenges so the players know what to expect. The next stage must be for him to start communicating with the persistent offenders so they do not keep breaking up the play.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:42:15

Much better that time as the careless challenge by the New England defender quite rightly gets penalised.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:40:50

But then we have to same thing again when the “first foul” was not picked up, and straight away the next player goes in heavy a second later and gets penalised.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:38:38

All of a sudden the foul count starts to rise, and this is better from Chris Penso than the last time I watched him when he failed to pick off these free kicks which the players are expecting to be given.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:37:01

That looked like a bit of a “soft” free kick for a nudge on the Philadelphia goalkeeper, but I have to agree that it is much safer to give the foul in those situations.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:35:03

Coming up to 18 minutes and the referee has only given 3 free kicks and a penalty so far. The pace of the game is really slow, but the official’s need to keep their concentration.


GB at 2017-07-02 22:31:40

With very little other action for the referee to get involved in the game, I am always suspicious when a yellow card is not shown when penalties are given for hand ball. Surely if it was deliberate, then is broke up a promising attacking move? Unsporting behaviour or not?

Any thoughts on that big decision? Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2017-07-02 22:27:08

There is no doubt that that penalty call will definitely be the type of call which will be reviewed in the MLS from August when the VAR trials role on


GB at 2017-07-02 22:25:17

GOAL! C.J. Sapong (PU 17) from the spot!



GB at 2017-07-02 22:23:27

Big call for the referee in less than 2 minutes in.

The New England player’s arm was definitely raised when the ball struck it – but was there a movement of the arm towards the ball? Did he move it before the ball was kicked at him? Was his arm even inside the penalty area?

I have certainly seen them given for that before and there is no doubt the referee was big and brave so early in the game, but personally the distance the defender was away from the ball was too close for me to agree that was a deliberate act. The law is clear that the position of the players arm have no affect on whether the act is deliberate or not.

Kick Off

GB at 2017-07-02 22:16:33

New England Revolution won the toss so it will be Philadelphia Union 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 2017-07-02 22:07:03

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Play of the Week

GB at 2017-07-02 22:06:03

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 offers some really good advice is respect to best practice from officials when a mass confrontation situation occurs. A number of years ago on the EPL, a fellow AR colleague of mine did a similar thing as AR Brian Dunn is seen doing in this example, and ended up with a figure in his eye, which could have been seriously debilitating. So check this out for some really sensible advice on what to do in these situations Play of the Week 17 – Mass Confrontation

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 2017-07-02 22:04:18

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Chris Penso

AR1: Eric Boria (Technical Area)

AR2: Nick Uranga

4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira


Not for the first time in the past couple of years, toady’s referee can be found out in front in the list of most games refereed in the MLS so far. That should not be surprising the obviously well thought of Ex-FIFA who now has over 100 MLS games under his belt since he took charge of his first game in the top flight 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.

The last time Chris came under my critical eye was back in May, when I covered the Minnesota v LAG game for RefCam. In that game I felt that this referee did OK, but he looked like he was “coasting” to me, and that he had a lot more in his locker.

The main reason I came to that conclusion was because there were far too many “surprises” in respect to his decisions, which came across as complacency to me and over-confidence. Having a “relaxed” and “calm” demeanour can be a very positive characteristic for a referee, but when this leads to a referee looking too laidback the players very quickly pick up on it, which is a recipe for confrontation. In the Minnesota game the respect from the players decreased as fouls were not called when they expected them, and then were called when they weren’t expected, so the level of dissent and confrontation with the referee went up.

In this game I will be looking closely to see whether Mr Penso recognised this in his self-appraisal of that performance, and has taken steps to increase his presence on the field of play when the opportunity arises early in the game to get his personality and authority across to the players. Keeping the game flowing is all very well, but demonstrating how to manage the tempo and when to intervene to maintain the respect of the players and control of the game is far more important, even if it does break up the flow.

Another thing I will be looking closely at in this game is the actions of the 4th Official Marcos DeOliveira. Believe me, I have officiated at many, many professional games in front of a 4th Official who may as well have watched the game on a monitor in the locker room for the amount of involvement and support they gave to the rest of the crew, but last week I felt that Marcos was in danger of becoming too busy in his role. I am all in favour of the 4th Official being right out there, rather than leaning on the side of the dug-outs, but getting involved with telling players where to take throw-ins from is not really practice as it is stretching the job description to “assist the referee in controlling the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game” a bit too far for my liking!

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
13 300 52 2 4 0.15

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-07-02 22:03:30

Philadelphia Union


18     Andre Blake (PU 18)

3       Jack Elliott (PU 3)

5       Oguchi Onyewu (PU 5)

6       Haris Medunjanin (PU 6)

13     Chris Pontius (PU 13)

17     C.J. Sapong (PU 17)

21     Derrick Jones (PU 21)

22     Fafrice-Jean Picault (PU 22)

25     Ilsinho (PU 25)

28     Raymon Gaddis (PU 28)

32     Giliano Wijnaldum (PU 32)


4       Ken Tribbett (PU 4)

10     Roland Alberg (PU 10)

12     Keegan Rosenberry (PU 12)

15     Josh Yaro (PU 15)

20     Marcus Epps (PU 20)

23     John McCarthy (PU 23)

27     Jay Simpson (PU 27)


New England Revolution


1       Cody Cropper (NER 1)

2       Andrew Farrell (NER 2)

4       Benjamin Angoua (NER 4)

5       Gershon Koffie (NER 5)

6       Scott Caldwell (NER 6)

10     Teal Bunbury (NER 10)

15     Je-Vaughn Watson (NER 15)

23     Kei Kamara (NER 23)

24     Lee Nguyen (NER 24)

27     Joshua Smith (NER 27)

33     Donnie Smith (NER 33)


7       Brian Wright (NER 7)

8       Chris Tierney (NER 8)

18     Brad Knighton (NER 18)

19     Antonio Mlinar Delamea (NER 19)

21     Zachary Herivaux (NER 21)

28     London Woodberry (NER 28)

88     Femi Hollinger-Janzen (NER 88)


GB at 2017-07-02 21:58:57

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs

Something has to give today, as two of the season’s early basement boys go head to head for a proverbial 6 pointer.

The previous 5 meetings have thrown up two wins and a draw a-piece, so there is not much to go on there. Similarly, there is not much to choose between the current form stats for each team either:

Philadelphia W W L L L W
New England W L D W L L

Stats like these may point to a close game, but the officials also need to be prepared for the unexpected with a mid-season dog fight like this could turn out to be.

Last time out, Philly finished just above the Playoffs line by pipping todays visitors by virtual of Goal Difference (7 less conceded), after the two teams were inseparable by Games Won, Lost and Tied. A Home win today would drag them ahead again, but I get the feeling the last 2 Playoff places could go right down to the wire this season in the Eastern Conference.

Eastern Conference

Pos Club Pld W L T Pts
1 Chicago Fire 18 11 3 4 37
2 Toronto FC 18 10 3 5 35
3 New York City FC 18 10 5 3 33
4 Orlando City SC 19 8 6 5 29
5 Atlanta United FC 18 8 7 3 27
6 Columbus Crew SC 19 8 10 1 25
7 New York Red Bulls 17 7 8 2 23
8 Montreal Impact 16 5 5 6 21
9 New England Revolution 17 5 7 5 20
10 Philadelphia Union 16 5 7 4 19
11 D.C. United 18 5 10 3 18



GB at 2017-07-02 21:55:39

#MLS #PhivNE #Philaunion #NERevs


Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Major League Soccer game between Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution. 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!