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PRO Referees Weigh in on Disallowed D.C. Goal

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Lionard Pajoy wasn't offside according to PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer and the goal should have stood.

USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Professional Referee Organization released a statement regarding the called back goal from Saturday's game saying it should have stood. The goal would have changed the complextion of the game and given D.C. a 2-1 lead going into halftime. With the goal disallowed, the Crew broke through with a Ben Speas goal in the 2nd half to take all three points.

PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer broke down the play on the PROReferee.com site, referencing all three rules regarding passive offside. Lionard Pajoy ran towards a James Riley pass, but didn't touch the ball. Rejer rules that Pajoy didn't break the first or second parts of the law. He didn't play or touch the ball as required in part one. He also didn't obstruct any of the Crew players.

The third law is where Rejer sees a possible conflict, but still doesn't see Pajoy actively offside.

Law specifies that he has to make a gesture or movement that deceives or distracts an opponent? If you look at the defenders movements it is not Pajoy that distracts them but the AR's flag. Simply moving towards the ball is not enough to distract opponents as it is a normal part of the game.

This is news to me as I thought that Pajoy's movement prompted him to be considered active. AR Craig Lowry thought so too. Allan Chapman eventually agrees and disallowed the goal. Rejer sees it that the Crew played to the flag rather than the player or the whistle so Rejer concludes:

Verdict: As none of the offside law was breached in this incident, the goal should have been allowed.

So essentially I learned two things today, the Crew got a break. And since I originally thought the play offside and I learned something about the Laws of the Game.