A pair of 4-2 aggregate wins on Sunday sent the Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy back to an unexpected rematch of the MLS Cup 2011 final. The Dynamo got a first-half goal from Boniek García and absorbed a late strike by D.C. midfielder Branko Boskovic to professionally see out a 1-1 draw that was good enough to advance.
LA saw their 3-0 aggregate lead threatened by a fired-up Seattle side, which took a 2-0 lead before a disputed penalty delivered a pivotal goal to the visitors, who advanced despite losing the second leg 2-1.
In today’s Monday Postgame, John Bolster takes a closer look at that penalty decision, and the handball rule in general, which is surprisingly misunderstood. ...
See the full story here, from MLS.com
Kicking Back Comments: A very good article indeed. One telling passage was this:
... and the author is right. Just because one is a professional player or coach, has absolutely no bearing on if they understand the LOTG. It has been my experience many do not.
This is not a knock on players, and just a little one on coaches as their focus is winning games, not mediating them. That said, I would think a healthy understanding would be good for that audience. After all, referees at the highest levels are expected to know the personalities, tactics, and antics of the players and the coaches. I am surprised that many on "the other side" do not take the same time to understand our craft.
Next time you hear a player or coach, at any level, cry "handball", it is fair to pause and add a healthy dose of skepticism before rendering a decision. As you know, it is much more than meets the eye.