Serious Foul Play Video – Orlando vs. Portland

The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended Orlando City SC defender Brek Shea for one game and issued an undisclosed fine for serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent in the 15th minute of Orlando’s match against the Portland Timbers on April 3.

Here is a great example for SFP which endangers the safety of a player. When one judges whether to send a player off or not some cases are very easy to make the decision. What should referees be looking at or more importantly looking for? There are a few clues for referees that can help in their decision.

  • Where is the ball?
  • What are the positions of the players involved?
  • Does the challenger have the ability to play the ball?
  • The degree of the challenge and the contact.

In this clip the defender is coming from behind the attacker and the ball is in front of the attacker. Although the defender feels he can have a challenge on the ball, he goes through the attacker with no opportunity to play the ball. View the positions of the players. Can the defender honestly play the ball without going through the player?

Now look at the degree of contact. Through the back of the legs and there is a slight lunge by the defender who leaves his feet during the challenge.

The referee may not see the lunge but the diabolical challenge is alarming in itself. The referee follows the correct procedure in checking on the player for an injury and calmly calls the challenger over and issues the yellow card. Does the Assistant Referee have a better view and assist the referee in the decision? If the Assistant does have a good view, he must assist and give the referee information.

This tackle clearly endangers the safety of a player and must be sent off.