Opinion: Time for a change in MLS and refereeing

Chris Brunskill

I won't even get into the latest debacle of a game and the just awful mess that was Matthew Foerster. I'm not capable of writing about that without using language that would get me kicked off not only this blog, and SBNation, but the internet overall. Instead I'll just say that I think anyone who watched that game regardless of who they cheer for will admit that was an extremely, extremely poor showing by the officials.

Out of the embers of that fiery mess an idea was born. An idea that I hope gets taken serious and I've yet to see proposed by anyone affiliated with MLS (to date).

THE DESIGNATED REFEREE

Yup I said it and I mean it. If it will require donations from the fans lets figure out a way to do it. I will literally pay a minimum of 3 full games price to see this happen. This would help the league even more than the designated player.

How many times do we have to watch EPL/La Liga/Bundeliga/Serie A/SPL/Ligue 1/UEFA Champion's League/ World Cup/ Euro Finals/MDX/any other league on this planet and think "why can't MLS have refs like this"?

Why can't we have games that are decided by the play on the field with consistent calls?

Why can't a foul on one end of the field be a foul on the other end?

Why can't a yellow card offense be a yellow card offense regardless of which team does it?

Why can't a referee set clear boundaries that apply to both teams and make sense to anyone watching the game?

This is so long overdue. MLS has improved in a lot of areas. Teams are stronger than ever, fan support is stronger than ever, individual players are stronger than ever, youth is developing better than ever, etc. But what has lagged waaaay behind. Officiating.

I'm not even saying we need all officials to call every game the same, that doesn't even happen at the highest levels. I am saying let's pay these officials so that they will actually show some consistency within the same game, so that it is the exception that people talk about officiating after the game and not the rule. See here for a reference on how much top officials make, it really isn't that much.

That is all we are asking for! Players, coaches, fans just want the calls to be the same whichever team it is. If something that by the rules is a yellow and the ref just gives a warning talking to for one team, then do the exact same thing for the other team. If the ref goes quick yellow rather than a warning then just do the same for the other team. In the refs eye both teams should basically be wearing the same jersey. MAKE THE SAME CALLS FOR BOTH TEAMS!

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