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I had high hopes for Mark Geiger in the last RSL game against Houston. In the beginning it seemed like there was hope for this Referee but quickly it all changed. Actually he is quite superior when it comes to officiating Major league soccer. How? He is close to the top of the list as one of the worst referees MLS has. Wait most referees the MLS has are HORRIBLE. Where do they find these guys? Are they government workers (NO accountability)? It is time that the MLS/USSF holds their officials accountable for their decisions. If anything will kill the momentum of Major League Soccer in the USA it will be the poor quality of officiating. Hold these guys accountable for their actions and penalize their $3,500 pay checks.

What am I talking about?
1. Chris Wingert – Red Card OK but Yellow for Instigator Corey Ashe… THAT’S CRAP!
2. How about the “Flagrant Hand Ball” by Goalie Pat Onstad out of the box? NO CALL!
3. At times I thought I was watching another sport because of the constant leveling of players when in the box.
4. There are just too many examples to mention.

I have to mention the NO CLASS play by Houston not returning the ball to RSL after Brian Ching took a five minute dive. I spoke with him personally during the game and he even felt like that was classless by his team. As a national player he should have taken the initiative to return the ball.

Some of the calls are so BAD that it screams online gambling scams. What? A ref might bet on the game… Yes it looks like the refs are supplementing their $3,500 check with an online bet.

The events that transpired in the last minutes of the RSL – Houston game by the fans, players, and coaches was out cry for the league execs. to pull their heads out of their butts and do something about this crap.

mac bleakley

I don't need to hear about a player or coach who has a history with you as a ref. Sure , I like to watch games and get to know about the preferences of all the players and coaches, negative and positive. But, I don't need to hear in a pregame what you did in your last game when certain players or coaches tried to pull one over on you. And, if pregame can change a warning into a caution, heaven help the game that I love. Maybe, just maybe, us refs can imagine ouselves as players once again, and not get caught up in policing the game, but enjoying the spirit of the players, and enforce the laws without attitude.

Sorry about the preaching....

Mike Owens

Dr. Evans, I am absolutely incensed by "ron" and his ignorant, libelous comments above. Referees are influencing games to make money via online gambling? Making such a statement is absolutely unacceptable. Mark Geiger one of the worst referees that the MLS has? Ron, please by all means share with us your qualifications to make such a judgement. I expect you are a national referee emeritus, or an MLS assessor. If you are not any of these then you have as much credibility as the average boisterous soccer parent at a U-little game -- very passionate about their kids' play but very ignorant about the laws of the game. Which you prove by hollering for a "flagrant hand ball" same as the Saturday "sideline referee" crowd. Yellow card for the instigator being "crap"? I assume you wanted Corey Ashe ejected as well -- but on what grounds? His foul was reckless, which is a cautionable offense. Violent Conduct as retaliation = ejection. All within the Laws of the Game and US Soccer guidance.

Ron, for your information, MLS and the US Soccer referee program IS holding referees publically accountable through its "MLS Week in Review" series (including video!) and podcasts. While the Week in Review series does not specifically mention the name of the official, anyone with web access can review the game log and see who was assigned to that game where the mistake was made. If you read the Week in Review series you will see at least one case where an assistant referee called out his own failure, sharing it as a learning tool for others.

Ron, save your biased fanboy screed for fansites where a "controversial call" means "a call against my team where I didn't like the outcome" as opposed to "a call that was borderline and could have gone either way".


Appropriate pre-game preparation is critical for top level referees. As you note and I agree, many people including referees, have never observed or participated in constructive pre-game referee discussion. Its not a gripe or get even session.

Assessors and mentors have to question, engage and challenge a referees pre-game preparation as part of the total referee assessment and not separate it from the game assessment. This officiating technique is harder to teach and more advanced than 'the laws of the game' and 'procedures for referees' but can make the entire difference in a succesfully officiated match. Just as important as fitness.

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