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Why wasn't San Jose's goal ruled offside? The mystery continues with official word

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The ever-effervescent Brian Dunseth has the word on why Chris Wondolowski's goal to put San Jose up 1-0 over Real Salt Lake wasn't ruled offside by the referee. Quite frankly, we can't believe the referee's explanation.

"Opened his hips."

Let's start at the beginning. Wondolowski was certainly offside. There's no reason to doubt that, and the official explanation even supports that. We do know that the ball rebounded off some Real Salt Lake players before it fell to Wondolowski, and that's indisputable too. Again, the official explanation supports that fact.

And here, for reference, let's read what the FIFA Laws of the Game say:

"'Gaining an advantage by being in that position' means: (...) playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent, having previously been in an offside position."

So what the referee is saying here, in effect, is that somehow, Olave meant to play the ball. The ball, which I'll remind you, rebounded off one foot then another foot before trickling back to Chris Wondolowski, who was unmarked precisely because he was in an offside position.

So the referee has, for some reason, decided that because Olave opened his hips, the goal stood. The inanity of the argument is — well, inane. Here's the thing, though — that argument can hardly stand water. If the referee is making a judgment on that, he'd have to know that Wondolowski is offside otherwise. But the assistant referee is in no position to assess whether Olave's actually played the ball, and he hasn't flagged for offside. Why? Well, that's a mystery.

And hey, while we're talking about the refereeing, here's a play for which Olmes Garcia was called for a foul.