Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders


GB at 2016-07-24 22:35:33

Here are the main talking points in respect to the officials in this game:

  • The referee generally did well to keep out of this very one-sided game and not to become the centre of attention unnecessarily.
  • 4 yellow cards very calmly delivered in a dignified manner and all offences warranted disciplinary action.
  • The referee’s body language seemed to deteriorate as the game progressed and this could have been down to fatigue in the extremely hot conditions.
  • There were no key match incidents in this game.

This was the first time I have seen this referee and I was impressed by certain attributes which he displayed, but also felt there were some fundamental things which he could work on.

His recognition and response to incidents which required disciplinary action was very good indeed and he did well not to drop his tolerance level to mandatory cautions in such an “easy” game. He did not shirk his responsibilities.

I was also pleased to see that he carried out the caution procedure without drawing attention to himself by being over demonstrative.

Finally he seemed to build up a good rapport with the players and was not overly fussy in a very one-sided game.

There were some things to work on with his coach though in a game which showed a few signs of his relative lack of experience at this level.

There were a few challenges which went un-punished when the expectation from the players was for a free kick to be given. There is a fine line between being too fussy sometimes, but you also do not want a game (particularly an “easy” one like this) to suddenly turn on a simple free kick which you could have given. This could come down to analysing his recognition of fair and unfair challenges, or it could be an over eagerness to keep a low profile.

The referee’s positioning was very “naive” at times, particularly in the first half. Far too often he drifted too close to his assistant as attacking moves developed which could have left him exposed if the ball switched to the other side, and he also found himself getting “caught in the mixer” sometimes as the players were forced to play around him. It actually looked to me as if he was a referee who was used to running “left wings” in the past and was struggling to adjust to “right wings”, which is mandatory at the highest levels these days. These things will stand out a mile when he reviews the game with his coach and can very quickly be improved upon.

Finally, his fitness seemed to flag in the final third of this game and he was happy to jog or walk the game out. I know the conditions were very tough, but officials at this level need to be fit enough to adapt to them.

All in all though, control was maintained and hardly anyone else will have known he was out there – can’t be bad then!

As for the rest of the crew, they all played their appropriate roles without appearing to make any major mistakes.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-07-24 22:05:11

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

Refcam returns for you enjoyment and education in a couple of weeks’ time with coverage of the traditional curtain raiser for the English Football Season when the Premier league Champions take on the FA Cup winners for the Charity Shield:

Sunday 7th August Leicester City v Manchester United KO 15.15 pm

Then it will be back to the MLS later the same day for Portland Timbers v Sporting Kansas City KO 21.00 pm

The opening full line up of fixtures for RefCam for the whole of August are now available at:


GB at 2016-07-24 22:03:27

Full Time

Sporting Kansas City 3 v 0 Seattle Sounders


GB at 2016-07-24 22:00:37

minimum of 3 added minutes


GB at 2016-07-24 21:59:33

The referee is content to keep his low profile to the end of this game which he has managed comfortably so far


GB at 2016-07-24 21:54:20

Straight forward off-side for AR1 JM

Anyone else out there think there is a problem with the substitute warming up behind the AR1 with the same colour bib on?

In the top leagues in England now substitutes warm up on the opposite side to the assistants in different coloured bibs, following an accident a few years ago when an assistant got seriously injured by a substitute warming up.


GB at 2016-07-24 21:51:13

It is beginning to look like men against boys, but the officials must keep their concentration for another 10 minutes to close this game out safely


GB at 2016-07-24 21:49:41

GOAL! Dom Dwyer (SKC 14)

Sporting Kansas City 3 v 0 Seattle Sounders


GB at 2016-07-24 21:46:29

This referee is certainly happy to keep the game moving and is not “too” fussy about the odd couple of feet in the position for quick re-starts for free kicks. Nothing wrong with that in the current climate for more common sense from match officials.

GB at 2016-07-24 21:43:06

Thanks for the Tweet Matty, but I am not sure what you mean:

 You do realise the new interpretation of the law relating to subs is incorrect in this 1/2 “


GB at 2016-07-24 21:39:54

Now there was an example of a new law change which was implemented as Roger Espinoza (SKC 27) was inside of the Seattle penalty area (actually inside of the goal-area), when that last goal kick was taken which would have meant the goal kick could not be taken until he left the area up until the 1st June this year!


GB at 2016-07-24 21:37:31

If this was a boxing match the referee would be thinking of stopping it already as it has been so one-sided


GB at 2016-07-24 21:36:28

Yellow Card Soni Mustivar (SKC 93) – mandatory caution for breaking up a promising move.

I must say that I like this referee’s delivery of his yellow cards, even if that one was from a distance, he is calm and dignified in his delivery.


GB at 2016-07-24 21:32:29

The referee does not seem to be drifting so far across toward his assistant in this second half


GB at 2016-07-24 21:29:27

Yellow Card Joevin Jones (SS 33) for a reckless challenge

The referee really needs to start to manage the tempo of this game now as some players out there are getting hot and bothered! He needs to read the signs and raise his profile to proactively manage this game. This should never get away from him but it will be important for him not to take his foot off of the gas.


GB at 2016-07-24 21:26:42

Good teamwork again as AR 1 Jeff Muschick gets into the action and gives a good signal to the referee that a late challenge had not been spotted. Those are the types of challenges I said the referee needs to be giving in the first half


GB at 2016-07-24 21:24:54

The Seattle player taking that last throw-in seemed to be wearing something on his wrist which was covered by a wrist band. We saw a lot of jewellery covered up by tape in the recent European Championships, I hope that will not be the start of this creeping in again.


GB at 2016-07-24 21:21:39

That was a very tight decision for off-side by AR2 PM, but it was correct as both the Seattle players involved in the play were actually ahead of the defenders


GB at 2016-07-24 21:18:27

excellent advantage and excellent no foul in the penalty area! Great start to the second half for the referee!


GB at 2016-07-24 21:15:26

Second half underway

GB at 2016-07-24 21:14:52

With just 5 fouls in the first half, the officials will be hoping that the discipline remains at that level

GB at 2016-07-24 21:12:53

Any thoughts on the game so far? Do you think the officials are doing well? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-07-24 21:11:10

So far I must say that Robert Sibiga is showing clear signs which reflect his experience at this level. He has certainly kept control of the game, which it has to be said has rarely gone above walking pace because of the conditions, and his two yellow cards were timely and fully justified, but he has a few rough edges sticking out in other areas.

His positioning has caused me the most concern as he consistently finds himself in the way, or unsure where to go to keep out of the way in the attacking channels. He also consistently seems inclined to drift too far towards his assistant, which means that he is a long way away from “his” side of the penalty area if something should happen in that area. If you watch the replay of the second wonderful goal, you will see the referee running right out to the right side as the attack built up before the goal which demonstrates what I have been saying.

The other area I have highlighted is the need sometimes to give the free kicks which everyone is expecting! In particular the challenge by Clint Dempsey (SS 2) on Roger Espinoza (SKC 27), which was not punished, led to a yellow card for retaliation by the play. There were a few other smaller ones as well when I felt the referee would have done better to step in rather than maintain such a low profile when everyone expected the official to intervene.

Both assistants have had a sound first half.


GB at 2016-07-24 21:00:12

Last week in England the Premier League, English Football League and the Football Association announced new strict guidelines for officials in a bid to improve behaviour across English football. This season referees at the top will be expected to show zero tolerance in respect to challenges to their authority by the use of abusive language towards them. Read all about this initiative here: Domestic bodies join forces to improve fair play Don’t miss the next edition of the Ref Show tomorrow which will be covering this topic in detail.

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

As always, YATR values 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 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 2016-07-24 20:58:40

Half Time

Sporting Kansas City 2 v 0 Seattle Sounders

45 +3

GB at 2016-07-24 20:57:59

GOAL! Jacob Peterson (SKC 37)

Sporting Kansas City 2 v 0 Seattle Sounders


GB at 2016-07-24 20:56:14

Much better positioning then as the referee followed the play into the penalty area and gave himself a credible angle.

minimum of 4 added minutes


GB at 2016-07-24 20:54:36

Yellow Card Herculez Gomez (SS 9) – clear reckless challenge from behind and the referee did really well to jump in with a quick yellow card for that one. Interesting the player left the filed of play when the law change recently allows the injured player to be treated and not need to leave the playing area when a yellow card is shown. I wonder if the officials forgot that?



GB at 2016-07-24 20:50:03

The officials are being very sensible in allowing the players to take on liquids in this heat when play is stopped. Time will obviously need to be added on for this though.


GB at 2016-07-24 20:46:19

With a low key game like this with only 4 fouls in the first 36 minutes, the referee should really be concentrating on his positioning as he does not need to worry about things going on behind his back at the moment


GB at 2016-07-24 20:44:31

There was another example of the referee’s naive positioning as he had to step over the ball at the player’s feet. This is an aspect of his game which his coach should be working on.


GB at 2016-07-24 20:42:44

There we go – the ball is dropped by the referee to restart, so play was stopped for the injury


GB at 2016-07-24 20:41:57

I must assume that the referee has stopped play for the Seattle player to receive treatment as he was down on the edge of the Seattle penalty area – I cant believe he stopped play for the drink break. That should take place during a normal stoppage.


GB at 2016-07-24 20:38:46

Advantage played by the referee then, but it seemed like to player who moved away with the ball was the one with his arms in his opponent’s face?


GB at 2016-07-24 20:37:16

There seemed to be a “bit of kick” on a Seattle player then which the expectations of the players was for a free kick. The referee would do well to give those and not try to be too clever as the players take matters into their own hands as we saw just now with that act of unsporting behaviour from Roger Espinoza (SKC 27) which resulted in the first yellow card


GB at 2016-07-24 20:33:28

Yellow Card Roger Espinoza (SKC 27) for unsporting conduct

The player clearly looked like his was delivering his own justice then as the referee missed a strong challenge on his earlier. Always going to end in tears. The referee needed to step in then to keep this under control


GB at 2016-07-24 20:31:22

GOAL!  Dom Dwyer (SKC 14)

Sporting Kansas City 1 v 0 Seattle Sounders

The replays of the goal demonstrated what I had just said about the referee being too far over in the right channel as he had to run straight across in front of the attacking players to regain his position


GB at 2016-07-24 20:28:34

The more a study this referee’s positioning the more I find to comment on. This time he seems to be getting pulled across instinctively towards his assistant, when a slightly more central position and run would be better. A few times now when SKC have been attacking he has found himself with his back to his assistant as he has moved over too far.


GB at 2016-07-24 20:24:38

Good teamwork there as AR2 Peter Manikowski singnalled for that foul near to the touch line – followed by the first off-side of the game given after due delay by the same official


GB at 2016-07-24 20:21:50

The tempo of the game definitely seems to be mirroring the temperature in the arena at the moment


GB at 2016-07-24 20:20:50

Robert Sibiga looks comfortable in these opening minutes but I have to say that some of positioning on the move when play is in the centre looks a little naive, as he seems to be unsure which way to move to stay out of the way. This is something to watch as the game unfolds


GB at 2016-07-24 20:17:48

Very wide position on the touch-line then by the referee for that goal kick so he could see the challenges side on


GB at 2016-07-24 20:16:09

Good to see the referee adjusting his position just before that corner was taken to ensure he could see any possible holding or pushing – much better than just standing in one place every time


GB at 2016-07-24 20:13:53

The referee was trying to tell the play to stop encroaching down the line at that throw-in and just about blew his whistle before it was taken. Had he not, then the throw should have been given the other way


GB at 2016-07-24 20:12:22

The commentators have already mentioned a couple of times that the heat could be a factor in this game. Officials need to be mindful of this as well to ensure they have enough energy left at the end of the game

GB at 2016-07-24 20:10:30

AR1: Jeff Muschik (JM) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-07-24 20:09:59

No nerves from this referee with a free kick after 10 seconds!


GB at 2016-07-24 20:09:15

Seattle Sounders won the toss so it will be Sporting Kansas City 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

Play of the Week

GB at 2016-07-24 20:06:44

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 the importance of dialog between officials when determining the merits of a correct off-side call which was demonstrated superbly in the recent game between Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls  – Play of the Week 19: Offside – referee/AR dialogue

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 2016-07-24 20:06:15

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Robert Sibiga (RS)

AR1: Jeff Muschik (JM)

AR2: Peter Manikowski (PM)

4th Official: Hilario Grajeda (HG)


Robert Sibiga takes charge of his 10th game of the Regular MLS Season today in his first full season on the PRO Full List, having made his debut last year with 3 run outs in the top flight. He has made a very steady start to his career at the top so far and has managed to stay out of any major controversy so I am really looking forward to watching him perform for the first time in the match.

He has two very experienced Assistants in his Crew with Jeff Muschik bagging 80 games since 2008 at the start of this season, and Peter Manikowski having 147 games in his locker. This will be the 3rd time this season that the referee has worked with Jeff Muschik in the MLS and the fist time for Peter Manikowski. The 4th Official duties should be in safe hands as Hilario Grajieda has over 121 games under his belt as a referee in his own right since 2004.


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
9 196 28 3 3.11 0.33


Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-07-24 20:03:47

Sporting Kansas City


Tim Melia (SKC 29)

Ike Opara (SKC 3)

Graham Zusi (SKC 8)

Benny Feilhaber (SKC 10)

Dom Dwyer (SKC 14)

Lawrence Olum (SKC 16)

Saad Abdul-Salaam (SKC 17)

Roger Espinoza (SKC 27)

Jacob Peterson (SKC 37)

Soni Mustivar (SKC 93)

Jimmy Medranda (SKC 94)


Kevin Ellis (SKC 4)

Diego Rubio (SKC 9)

Seth Sinovic (SKC 15)

Connor Hallisey (SKC 22)

Bernardo Añor (SKC 23)

Alec Kann (SKC 25)

Cameron Porter (SKC 39)

Seattle Sounders


Stefan Frei (SS 24)

Clint Dempsey (SS 2)

Brad Evans (SS 3)

Tyrone Mears (SS 4)

Cristian Roldan (SS 7)

Erik Friberg (SS 8)

Herculez Gomez (SS 9)

Jordan Morris (SS 13)

Chad Marshall (SS 14)

Andreas Ivanschitz (SS 23)

Joevin Jones (SS 33)


Tyler Miller (SS 1)

Michael Farfan (SS 12)

Nelson Valdez (SS )16

Zach Scott (SS 20)

Tony Alfaro (SS 25)

Oalex Anderson (SS 39)

Oniel Fisher (SS 91)


GB at 2016-07-24 20:01:48

Neither of today’s teams have shown any consistent convincing signs so far of the type of form required to stay out of the bottom 4 at the end of the regular season, in order to make the play offs. Seattle Sounders in particular, although they have a few games in hand, really need to start to put some results together before they give themselves a mathematical mountain to climb.

The teams are meeting for the second time this season with Sporting taking the honours in Seattle with a 1-0 win in their first game of the season back in March.

The opening win ended a Sounders FC five-game home undefeated run at home vs. Sporting, stretching back to when the first meeting ever between the clubs in 2009.

Sporting have defeated Sounders FC once all-time in six meetings in league play – a 1-0 win last June at Sporting Park. Sounders FC have won four of the six MLS encounters all-time in Kansas City, with one draw.

Western Conference Table

Pos Club Pld W L T Pts
1 FC Dallas 23 12 6 5 41
2 Colorado Rapids 20 10 2 8 38
3 LA Galaxy 20 9 3 8 35
4 Real Salt Lake 21 8 6 7 31
5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 22 8 8 6 30
6 Portland Timbers 22 7 7 8 29
7 Sporting Kansas City 22 8 10 4 28
8 San Jose Earthquakes 20 6 6 8 26
9 Seattle Sounders FC 19 6 11 2 20
10 Houston Dynamo 20 4 9 7 19


Recent form

Sporting Kansas City W D W W L L
Seattle Sounders L L D L W L


GB at 2016-07-24 19:55:09



Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Major League Soccer game between Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders.

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 following us from across the pond!

Mark Geiger seemed to have his hands full in the New York derby which finished a few minutes ago but stayed calm and stuck to his task right to the end when tempers started to fray near to the end!