If you didn’t see the news earlier, the opening weekend of MLS will be affected by a referee work stoppage and replacement referees will be in effect.
To that end, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid opened his group interview Friday with a question to the media: “Which one of you guys is refereeing tomorrow?”
We had a good laugh, but it’s not entirely funny if the situation turns out to be a disaster. Schmid went on to say the league is making a decision that’s best for the league, and “we accept that decision and we’re going to go out there and we’re going to play our best.”
Schmid added he has “faith and confidence” in PRO’s selection of replacement refs. But he was also asked if he has talked or plans to talk to his players about not making too big a deal about potential calls in Saturday’s opener against Sporting Kansas City.
“I think as players you just have to deal with the game,” Schmid said. “I always remember when I was working on the U.S. Soccer coaching staff and we were given the licenses and so forth. So there is a rules questionnaire and one of the questions on the rules is, ‘When is it a goal?’ The technical answer is when the whole ball crosses the goal line, when it’s underneath the crossbar and inside the posts — then it’s a goal.
“One guy, a coaching candidate, wrote down as his answer: ‘When the referee blows the whistle and says it’s a goal.’ Technically, that’s the correct answer, because the whole ball can cross the line and all that can happen, but if the referee says it’s not a goal, it’s not a goal. So at the end of the day, what we try and tell our players is you have to accept the decisions that are made. A foul is when the referee blows his whistle, it’s out of bounds when he blows his whistle, it’s a goal when he blows the whistle, and don’t anticipate anything else.”