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MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, Speaks on Referees
MLSnet.com, May 20th, 2009 3:15PM

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Don Garber's most recent blog post discusses the state of officiating in the MLS, a hot-button topic around the league. Admitting the impossibility of perfect refereeing, Garber states that the refereeing in the MLS is "better than people think. Not because I am saying it ... but because the video review proves it."

"The MLS Department of Officiating Services, USSF/CSA [Canadian Soccer Association], and a group of independent assessors review every MLS game," Garber says. "Also, all of our club-coaching-staffs submit post-game referee reviews. You would be surprised that many of the most controversial decisions are usually correct. Unlike many broadcasters and fans, we, along with the USSF and CSA, have the benefit of postgame video review using a multitude of camera angles from a variety of broadcast feeds."

Garber also outlines feasible ways for U.S. Soccer and the CSA to continue to improve officiating in the country. For example, he says the league needs "more full-time referees" to cope with the expansion of the league. He also suggests "better working conditions for younger referees" to provide "incentives for younger referees to develop and desire a career as a professional referee." Lastly, he wants to set up better incentives for former MLS players to move into the refereeing ranks.

 

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