• Ref Watch
    Much ado has been made of the apparent handball by which Carlos Ruiz controlled a pass before scoring the first goal in FC Dallas's 2-1 playoff win over Colorado, yet a similar play earlier in the match hasn't received nearly as much attention. On that occasion, Thiago Martins appeared to settle a ball with his upper arm as he broke behind the Dallas defense, but keeper Dario Sala smothered the shot with a courageous dive. Both of these plays could have been more clearly evaluated if cameras had been placed behind the goals, which doesn't help the referee or ...
  • Red Bull Revival? Not!
    The most successful coach this season for the moribund Red Bulls? Easy. Richie Williams, in a landslide. As the interim coach after replacing Mo Johnston (2-3-7) in late June, Williams went 3-3-2, and all of those losses were road games. Bruce Arena is getting props for guiding RBNY into the postseason, but if anything, his influence has been benign at best. When Arena officially took over after the All-Star break, the Red Bulls were 5-6-9 and in third place. They finished a hardly scintillating 9-11-12 and in fourth, and needed to beat Kansas City, 3-2, ...
  • Ref Watch
    Two critical refereeing decisions went against Colorado in its 3-1 loss to New England Sept. 30, yet in both cases, the right call was made. Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo complained when a penalty kick was called after defender Aitor Karanka, attempting to clear a ball, kicked Jay Heaps in the face as Heaps headed a shot at goal. Usually, when a player lifts his foot that high with an opponent nearby, the call is dangerous play and an indirect free kick. And usually in those situations the opposing player backs off and no contact is made, hence, dangerous ...
  • The obstacles of moving abroad
    Foreign players vying for a work permit in England can be denied by a single vote or a single game. In the former case, Tottenham Hotspur's appeal on behalf of U.S. midfielder Bobby Convey resulted in a split 3-3 vote by the six-man panel of executives, coaches and former players who decide such things. In this case, a tie isn't a good result. Last month, Derby County lost an appeal after a work permit for Josh Wolff was denied because he didn't meet the requirement that he had played in 75 percent of the USA's competitive matches during ...