Major League Soccer
US Soccer

Officials ready for end-of-season games

Nov 7, 2013

“We’re more prepared than ever before” – that’s the resounding message from PRO’s Michael Kennedy as the MLS and NASL end-of-season games gather momentum.

With Major League Soccer heading into the Conference Championships, and the Atlanta Silverbacks facing New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl 2013 on Saturday November 9th, crunch time is well and truly upon the remaining teams.

And that means it's the pinnacle of the season for PRO's officials too, but Referee Manager Kennedy insists the assigned crews are ready.

He told “More preparation has gone into this season’s Playoffs than any other season, but that has been achieved by continual improvements throughout the year.

“All games are important. However, similar to the players, our match officials do look forward to the challenge of the Playoffs.”

With the matches holding such importance, a lot is on the line, and some big decisions have already been made including in the Playoff Knockout Round game between Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact on October 31st. 

Three red cards were issued during the match, which ended 3-0 to the Dynamo. 

And, as shown on the Play of the week 36 with PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer, only a timely intervention from AR CJ Morgante prevented even more red cards being issued. 

The officiating crew dealt with an explosive situation, which saw the dismissals of Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero, as the Impact finished with eight men following Nelson Rivas’ two yellow cards earlier in the game. 

Despite having to make such critical decisions, Kennedy knows the officials are ready to finish the season strongly. 

“The team are excited about being involved in games at the end of the season. They know the importance and they know they have to be ready.

“Preparation is key to a solid performance. They are using the best practices from the season to correctly judge decisions and work as a team to get the calls correct.

“The teams are playing with their hearts and we do the same as referees. Every moment is important. We want our guys to be engaged and expect the unexpected.

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