On April 11, I posted a blog about an apparent crack in the edifice of the referee program in Chicago. One of the “Powerful Pentad”, Joe Machnik, had suggested a way to solve the problem of ineffective refereeing in Major League Soccer. The “crack” was that at last someone responsible for the state of refereeing in this country would admit that there was something wrong.
Joe’s idea was to recruit some retired professional players, fast-track them through referee-training and then employ them in MLS. Well, it has started! The first part of the education was study of the Laws of the Game, and what is acceptable refereeing practice throughout the world. The second was to take them to a game and ask for their observations, so that the instructors could be assured that the players learned something. Here are the comments on a recent World Cup match as one of the retired professional players saw it.