SJ Earthquakes v Sporting Kansas City



GB at 2016-04-24 23:13:24

Once again I am afraid that the referee will get some of the headlines for this game tomorrow for his failure to award a penalty to Sporting Kansas City when Dom Dwyer (SKC 14) was blatantly brought down from behind by Andres Imperiale (SJE 32), who should also have received a red card. What made it worse for the official of course was that he went up the other end and gave a perfectly good penalty a few minutes later!

That was a pity though, because on the whole I thought that Jair Marrufo got through that one relatively unscathed apart from that Key Match Decision for the missed penalty.

I had my reservations about this referee’s body language, but I have to say he has made some significant improvements in this area since the last time I saw him. He generally looked a lot more in control of his emotions apart from that one rather aggressive showing of the yellow card in the first minute. No doubt about the offence though and it has to be said that from the moment the referee decided to show the card inside the first minute he maintained a firm grip on the game, despite leaving himself open to a charge of inconsistency with regard to yellow cards at times.

Sometimes I felt a little nervous that this was on the verge of boiling over, but to be fair, Jair just about managed to keep the lid on it, even when the players clearly started to show their feelings towards each other. Any referee at this level can look good when faced with misconduct that needs to be dealt with, but the referees who stand out from the pack are the ones with the awareness and alertness to see how the players’ attitudes are changing and nip any poor behaviour in the bud before it affects their control.

Jair is obviously very fit and moved effortlessly around the field of play tonight.

Both assistants generally offered sound assistance when required and I noted just one incident when there was a disagreement between the crew.

All-in-all, the referee looked a lot more composed and relaxed in this game than in last season’s MLS Cup final, but it will still unfortunately be the missed penalty call which he will be remembered for in this game.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-04-24 22:51:25

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

Join us again tomorrow night when our experts will be running the rule over Robert Madley again when he takes charge of the massively important game between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion, KO 8.00pm BST

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



GB at 2016-04-24 22:50:44

Tempers rising between the players right to the end

Full Time

SJ Earthquakes 1 v 0 Sporting Kansas City


GB at 2016-04-24 22:46:38

minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2016-04-24 22:46:00

Having complemented the AR2 and the referee just now for coming to the correct decision for a corner between them, unfortunately they crossed that time and even though the referee was correct again in giving a corner, the AR2 won on that occasion and the wrong decision was made.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:43:52

The Quakes player at least seemed to receive a strong word from the referee after that over zealous pulling the player to the ground from behind.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:41:04

The referee’s tactics seemed to have worked for him so far as he has just about kept the lid on this one so far


GB at 2016-04-24 22:37:48

Yellow Card Amadou Dia (SKC 13) for unsporting behaviour – I have to say that was very similar to one in the first half which did not receive a similar punishment


GB at 2016-04-24 22:35:57

A replay of the incident in the penalty area a few minutes ago which caused the SKC player to go down holding his face, seemed to show his almost being “strangled” by a defender.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:34:17

PB just delayed his flag then for off-side until the player became active.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:33:05

Good practice demonstrated then by the referee as he spoke to the player before calling the doctor onto the field of play


GB at 2016-04-24 22:28:25

Even a couple of minutes without a foul in this game will be welcome to the officials after that period when it seemed to be coming to the boil following those two penalty incidents


GB at 2016-04-24 22:24:46

It is clear to see from the TV pictures that the players are starting to react poorly towards each other so the referee needs to be alert to this and start to manage the tempo of this game. At the moment he seems to be reacting to it and not managing it.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:22:03

Important free kick on the edge of the Quakes penalty area – the defender gave the referee a decision to make then


GB at 2016-04-24 22:20:29

Benny Feilhaber (SKC 10) received Yellow Card for dissent in the aftermath of the penalty which was given.

Going back to the one which wasn’t, you would have to ask that is the referee felt there was no contact, why did the SKC player not receive a leyyow card for simulation?


GB at 2016-04-24 22:16:07

GOAL! Chris Wondolowski (SJE 8)

SJ Earthquakes 1 v 0 Sporting Kansas City


GB at 2016-04-24 22:14:58

Now we have a penalty at the other end!

Goalkeeper blatantly brings the offending player down, but surely that should have been a yellow card for the keeper?

What do you think/ @youaretheref


GB at 2016-04-24 22:12:59

The temperature is definitely rising in this game and clear errors like the failure to give that penalty does little to calm the players down


GB at 2016-04-24 22:11:52

That challenge in the penalty area which looked like SKC had a fair shout for a penalty and a red card was precisely what I was alluding to in my last post.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:10:11

The referee seems to be prepared to just take his foot off the pedal at the moment and let a few strong challenges go unchecked. He will need to be careful as this game seems to have the potential to “kick off” if he lets too man of them slip by.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:07:39

I have noticed a few times now that Jair has a tendency to position the ball for free kicks a few yards back from where the offence took place. In the case of holding or pushing he seems to point to the spot where it started not where it finished when he blew his whistle.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:03:21

Jair starting the second half as he finished the first with a safe free kick in the centre given from a credible distance away.


GB at 2016-04-24 22:00:43

Sporting Kansas City get the second half under way.

Any thoughts on the big decisions so far? Do you think the officials got them right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-04-24 21:57:31

After that first yellow card inside the first minute which was delivered with such a “flurry”, I was not sure what we were about to receive from our referee today. To be fair, the early show of strength not only seemed justified as the early tackles flew in, but it also seemed to have the desired effect. It is obviously easy to say though, but and early caution like that does mean that you have to be careful to remain consistent, and it was in the 30th minute when the referee dropped his guard and let one “get away”. He soon got back on the rails again 2 minutes later and picked off the next reckless challenge though.

I do sometimes think that this referee can come across as a bit of a “show-man” at times and is occasionally over demonstrative with his body language as was evident with the delivery of that first yellow card in such an aggressive fashion. But once again, I must give credit where it is due and say that as the first half progressed I thought he seemed to have been working on his exuberant mannerisms and had toned them down considerably from the last time I saw him in last season’s MLS Cup final.

This game definitely needs a gaol, and I have a feeling a lot more refereeing to come as well.

Both Assistants have played full and actives roles so far, even if they have not had any major decisions to make in the first half.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:45:59

This week You Are The Ref are pleased to acknowledge some positive forward thinking by the FIFA Referees Committee by instigating a new venture in bringing together both male and female prospective FIFA officials for joint training ventures. Read all about the first event and plans for more here: FIFA make history with recent refereeing seminar


Former Manchester United and Real Sociedad boss David Moyes recently gave an exclusive interview to You Are The Ref in which he discussed the differing styles of refereeing in Italy compared to the English Premier League. Catch up with his candid opinions here:  David Moyes: Lessons learned in La Liga


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


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


GB at 2016-04-24 21:45:19

Half Time

Very unusual not to have even a single second of time added on.

SJ Earthquakes 0 v 0 Sporting Kansas City



GB at 2016-04-24 21:43:47

Jair often runs into the scene of a free kick to justify his decision. This can be useful but is not something a referee wants to do all the time as is could invite players to express dissent towards the official


GB at 2016-04-24 21:40:25

Good work again by the referee by going in and laying the law down at the first sign of grappling at that corner


GB at 2016-04-24 21:37:39

After my earlier comments about the referee’s positioning around the penalty area it is pleasing to see that he has consistently moved further forwards into this danger area as the game has progressed


GB at 2016-04-24 21:35:45

Good teamwork then as the AR” could not have seen who touched the ball last before it crossed the goal-line so the referee pressed in deep again and quickly signalled for a corner before the AR needed to make a decision.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:34:16

And so that’s what happens if you are not consistent – Yellow Card for Matt Besler (SKC 5) fully deserved for a reckless challenge which he had no fear of committing having seen Andres Imperiale (SJE 32) getting away with a poor challenge at the other end 2 minutes earlier


GB at 2016-04-24 21:31:54

This is what I meant about being consistent after that early yellow card – that dread challenge from behind by Andres Imperiale (SJE 32) may not have had the force of the first yellow card challenge but it was most certainly unsporting behaviour as his actions broke up a promising attacking move.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:28:41

Good work by Philippe Briere AR2 on the far side as he raises his profile to communicate with the defender and stop him encroaching within 10 yards of the corner arc. Incidentally, this is 11 yards from the corner post.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:26:06

That was much better from the referee as he pressed inside of the penalty area as the offensive player took the ball to the goal-line


GB at 2016-04-24 21:23:01

Safe refereeing then as that nonsence started in the corner – just give the free kick everyone expects is the order of the day in those situations


GB at 2016-04-24 21:20:07

This referee is obviously very fit and always looks like he is bouncing around on his toes rather than walking around flat footed


GB at 2016-04-24 21:18:30

With the referee so close to that free kick in the centre again, It would have been a good opportunity to speak to the player who was slow to retreat 9.15 metres from the ball. Being pro-active with things like that can save a lot of problems later in the game.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:15:19

15 minutes gone and the referee will no doubt be breathing a little more slowly now as that caution inside the first minute has not come back to haunt him yet as the players have started to “settle down”.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:11:21

With such a vivid coloured shirt, it is very clear to see the referees position in this game, so I would like his coach to tell him to “get in” the penalty area more quickly rather than hang back out behind the “D” when all the action is inside the penalty area.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:08:18

Good advantage played then by the referee and once again he was right behind the play to communicate with the players around the incident


GB at 2016-04-24 21:06:17

So far Jair is able to sell these decisions in the centre of the field of play by being so close to them, although he may have reacted differently to that illegal use of the arm if he had seen it from the other side.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:04:38

Good practice demonstrated by the nearside assistant then as he came to a complete stop before he signalled for that throw-in – it always looks so much neater


GB at 2016-04-24 21:03:31

I have no problem with the referee setting his stall out so early for that reckless challenge but he will need to be consistent now and he really needs to tone down his body language as this could work in a negative way for him if he looks like he is shaping up for a “fight”.


GB at 2016-04-24 21:01:29

Yellow Card for Anibal Godoy (SJE 30) inside the first 20 seconds! Well last week we already had a penalty by then!

Reckless challenge got what it deserved from the referee, but I have to say that the delivery of the card was very aggressive in deed

GB at 2016-04-24 20:59:40

AR1: Mike Rottersman (MR) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-04-24 20:59:09

Sporting Kansas City won the toss so it will be SJ Earthquakes 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

It would be particularly nice to hear from those of you across the pond who contacted me via Twitter last season. Alternatively, you can always contact us by e-mail at

Play of the Week

GB at 2016-04-24 20:58:23

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 concerns Referee Ted Unkel sending off the wrong player at a DOGSO incident, based on information supplied by one of his crew, in the game between Columbus Crew and New York City last week – Play of the Week 7: DOGSO – Identifying the Offender

It was obviously not a good weekend for PRO Officials, as another FIFA Referee finds himself surrounded by controversy alongside Baldomero Toledo, who was the focus for our last MSL RefCam. Whilst I was reading the advice prescribed by Paul Rejer in this Play of the Week, I couldn’t help thinking that when he referred to “going back to basics” in the last sentence, this should have included a full face to face conversation between members of the crew in circumstances of such major Key Match Decisions. That is certainly the best practice recommended in the EPL, that if a crew member has something of vital importance to impart to the referee, then they should “have the conversation” on the touch-line. As I said in a piece I wrote for our web site last year – IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO MAKES THE CORRECT CALL, AS LONG AS SOMEBODY DOES!

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 2016-04-24 20:56:08

Today’s officials are:

Referee: ?Jair Marrufo (JM)

AR1: Mike Rottersman (MR)

AR2: Philippe Briere (PB)

4th Official: Juan Guzman (JG)

Jair Marrufo

I suspect that Jair Marrufo (FIFA referee since 2007 and last season’s MLS Cup Final Referee), goes into bat for the PROs’ today with the clear instructions from his management team not to become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons this week! With coming up to 200 games under his belt in the MLS, let’s hope Jair can get the job done today.

Mike Rottersman takes Assistant Referee 1 duties today on the back of 70 appointments at this level since 2001. Carrying the flag on the other line is Philippe Briere who has also a well-established Assistant Referee at this level with 69 appointments to his name since 2009.


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
4 107 7 1 1.75 0.25

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-04-24 20:52:53

SJ Earthquakes



David Bingham (SJE 1)

Marvell Wynne (SJE 4)

Victor Bernardez (SJE 5)

Chris Wondolowski (SJE 8)

Shaun Francis (SJE 20)

Quincy Amarikwa (SJE 25)

Fatai Alashe (SJE )27

Anibal Godoy (SJE 30)

Andres Imperiale (SJE 32)

Simon Dawkins (SJE 49)

Alberto Quintero (SJE 91)


Kofi Sarkodie (SJE 2)

Shea Salinas (SJE 6)

Matias Perez Garcia (SJE 10)

Innocent (SJE 11)

Adam Jahn (SJE 14)

Tommy Thompson (SJE 22)

Bryan Meredith (SJE 35)


Sporting Kansas City



Tim Melia (SKC 29)

Matt Besler (SKC 5)

Graham Zusi (SKC 8)

Benny Feilhaber (SKC 10)

Brad Davis (SKC 11)

Nuno Andre Coelho (SKC 12)

Amadou Dia (SKC 13)

Dom Dwyer (SKC 14)

Lawrence Olum (SKC 16)

Saad Abdul-Salaam (SKC 17)

Roger Espinoza (SKC 27)


Ike Opara (SKC 3)

Diego Rubio (SKC 9)

Seth Sinovic (SKC 15)

Connor Hallisey (SKC 22)

Alec Kann (SKC 25)

Jacob Peterson (SKC 37)

Jimmy Medranda (SKC 94)


GB at 2016-04-24 20:48:25

Sporting Kansas City will be looking to change the tide today as they arrive at the home of The Quakes having not won on the road here since 2000! The Quakes have won 8 straight Regular League Fixtures in a row in The Golden State and have only lost at home twice in a regular season game. That said, neither side are particularly good travellers when it comes to this fixture, as the full time stats between these two have a remarkably similar look about them.

Regular season stats:

SJ Earthquakes Pld Won Lost Tied
Overall 36 20 7 9
Home 18 10 2 6
Away 18 10 5 3
Sporting Kansas City Pld Won Lost Tied
Overall 36 19 8 9
Home 18 11 3 4
Away 18 9 5 5

All Times meetings:

Team Pld Won Lost Tied
SJ Earthquakes 37 15 15 7
Sporting Kansas City 37 15 15 7

With stats like that, anyone who wins today will take over the bragging rights for a while!

There’s not much to choose between them in the League so far either as can be seen from the latest table below.

Western Conference Table

Pos Club Pld W L T Pts
1 FC Dallas 9 5 2 2 17
2 Colorado Rapids 8 5 2 1 16
3 LA Galaxy 7 4 1 2 14
4 Real Salt Lake 7 4 1 2 14
5 Sporting Kansas City 7 4 3 0 12
6 San Jose Earthquakes 7 3 2 2 11
7 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8 3 4 1 10
8 Portland Timbers 7 2 3 2 8
9 Seattle Sounders FC 7 2 4 1 7
10 Houston Dynamo 7 1 4 2 5

Current Form

SJ Earthquakes W L D D W L
Sporting Kansas City W W L W L L



GB at 2016-04-24 20:47:03

Week 8


Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the MLS game between SJ Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City to be played at AVAYA STADIUM, San Jose, California.

I have just seen the replays of a couple of penalty claims for hand-ball in the Sunderland v Arsenal game, and I have to say what a pleasure it was to see them both correctly turned down Mike Dean as the ball was blasted at the players who has no chance to get their hands or arms out of the way – therefore NOT deliberate hand-ball.

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