SoccerAmerica's Paul Garner talks about the Jaime Moreno goal against Philly on Saturday.
I have to admit the Moreno goal causes me a little conflict. As DC United fan, I am glad that he scored, but as a referee I am torn. Should a player be able to stalk a goalkeeper and wait until the keeper "releases" the ball to then poach a goal.
Here is the problem, U.S.S.F. has already indicated that Vaughn was wrong to allow the goal. But Gardner makes a good case for why the referee "experts" are wrong. Since I referee youth games, I will likely take the U.S. Soccer position since I need to protect the safety of younger players, but on a professional level, I have to side with Gardner on this one. Philly keeper Seitz dropped the ball and Moreno waited until the ball hit the ground before snagging it away. If Moreno had knocked the ball away while it was in the air after Seitz dropped it to punt, then maybe it would have been a foul. This is one of the gray areas that tend to crop up and I think for MLS, it should be allowed if the ball has touched the ground. Professional keepers need to keep control of the ball or move away from attacking players before putting the ball back into play.