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Steven Davidson is a retired National Referee and National Instructor.  He served on the FIFA Panel of Assistant Referees from 2003 to 2006, and he was an AR in Major League Soccer from 2001 to 2006. Unlike Michael Jordan, Steve only retired once… a fact that he remains extremely proud of to this day.  He currently resides in Los Angeles.

MLS Referees consider strike as PRO threatens officials! - UPDATED 3/6/14

a1sx2_blog_PSRA.jpgThe moving trucks are lined up in Sochi.  The half-pipe is being thawed for storage.  And the four electronic snowflakes will soon find a permanent home in an Olympic museum, or perhaps the Sochi Mall.  Four years and 4,448 miles until The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.  And, a lifetime of memories for Drew Doughty, whom I now declare the MVP of Team Canada and my Los Angeles Kings.

 

On this soapbox – graciously presented by our friends at www.soccerrefereeusa.com -- I’ve shared a thought, voiced an occasional opinion, maybe two.  I’ve taken on controversy, and although Sideshow Bob is still calling the shots, I predict winds of change will soon usher in a brighter day in Minnesota...

 

As we bid adieu to February, I call on every soccer referee reading this Blog, every friend of a colleague who knows a soccer referee, and every soccer fan – whether avid or casual – to answer the call and take action.  This one’s personal.

 

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Is this DOGSO? Throw me a bone here!

b2ap3_thumbnail_lawsofthegame.jpgWelcome to February. The Sochi Games are off to a rather curious start… $50 billion apparently only buys you a half-assed half-pipe these days.  Fortunately, that sorry memory has been erased by the amazingly heroic efforts of several Los Angeles Kings representing their countries, especially the U.S. of A. 

 

The Midas touch of one Philip Anschutz is everywhere.

 

February’s other big story: Some idiot celebrated a goal by head-butting the Plexiglas covering of his team’s technical area.  This brilliant move was, of course, caught on video that went viral… about the same time my GI tract went viral and I spent 24+ hours in bed, reading why head-butting Plexiglas should/should not be considered Violent Conduct (which, the last time I checked, needs to be committed against a person and not an industrial-strength polymer).

 

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Will Referees be Demoted? New Certification Requirements are troublesome -- at best.

b2ap3_thumbnail_usreflogo.jpgA strange month of January has come to a really strange end.  As we flip the calendar, our attention turns to The Big Game in New Jersey and the Bigger Weekend in Orlando for our PRO brothers and sisters.

 

Strange month, indeed.  A week ago, after months of advance promotion, more than 50,000 local hockey enthusiasts filed into Dodger Stadium (and my Los Angeles neighborhood), “witnessed” a great NHL game (about half of them only saw the puck on the Jumbotron) and a totally thrilling fan experience… some even picked up their trash on the way out.

 

NHL Stadium Series:  Mission Accomplished.  Well done, Gary Bettman.  You found a way for the NHL’s per game attendance to surpass MLS’ (for now).

 

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Minnesota State Referee Committee in turmoil.

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At the time of this writing, the battle lines remain drawn, but cooler heads appear to be starting to prevail, so all might not be lost in this beautiful little state that gave us Californians the 16-time world champion Lakers.

  

In fact, by the time I hit SEND, this sorry episode very well might have resolved itself... one can hope.

 

Nonetheless, there will be reflection, there will be wounds to lick, and for the sake of the Federation and its member state associations, hopefully there will be lessons learned... and not repeated.

 

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2014 FIFA Panelists Named… Why am I Scratching My Head?

b2ap3_thumbnail_fifa.jpgAnd then there were… Nine?  The 2014 FIFA Referee and Assistant Referee lists went viral last week, and true to past form, I again find myself scratching my head… which isn’t good, as my hairline continues to recede, and I am approaching the need of a really creative comb over.  (I saw “American Hustle” a few weeks back, so there still might be hope...)

 

The FIFA Men’s Referee list of seven is maintained from 2013… and that’s not a bad thing.  Sophomores Juan Guzman (16 MLS games as Referee in 2013) and Chris Penso (17) return unscathed.  Ricardo Salazar remains our most tenured Referee, entering his tenth season on the panel, followed by Baldomero Toledo (creeping closer to retirement age) and Jair who joined in 2007.  I’m not sure if either Allen Chapman (22 games) or Armando Villareal (also 22) were awaiting phone calls that didn’t come… but I have to think that both are being seriously considered for future panel appointments, as they should be.

 

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