Friday, July 10, 2009

CRC vs CAN

Today was game day! CJ and I refereed Costa Rica vs. Canada. We did our pregame at lunch. After some rest, the ride to and from the stadium was a little faster, due to the police escort that helped us get through rush hour traffic. The game went well. It was 2-2 draw with two cautions. It was very hot and humid. We also found out that since the U.S. is going though to the quarterfinals, we are being sent home. It is one of those mixed feelings, because you always want to stay as long as you can, but we also want to be able to support the U.S. team. So we will be able to go home and see the family and watch the games on television.

CJ will be able to be matched up with another crew, so make sure to watch the games and see which ones he will be doing!

-TV

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beach Day! (Sort of...)

Today is the day before the 3rd game in group A so for us, that means game day preparation for tomorrow. We went to the beach and did our warm up and light workout, because the sand makes sure the workout doesn’t impact our bodies too hard. We then got dinner and watched the other games and got to bed to get rest for the next day.

-TV

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heading Down South

Today we got up and did a recovery workout before getting on the charter flight to Miami. This workout was just to get the heart rate up a little to help flush the lactic acids from the body. With a good stretch to help the muscles recover as well, it was off to the airport where our bus dropped us off at a small airport. We were checked real quickly by security and then we walked right on to the plane. We ate lunch on the flight to Miami. When we landed, we jumped on our bus with our bags and went off to the hotel. We settled in and then went for a walk to stretch the legs. After dinner and watching the U.S. game, we called it a night and went to bed.

-TV

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Matchday 2 for CONCACAF Gold Cup

Today was matchday 2 for our group. I had the day off while Jair and CJ refereed Jamaica vs Costa Rica. The game went well with one caution and one red card. I got to watch both games up in a box with the administrators, assessors and an instructor. It was nice to relax and watch the games and cheer for our referee team. Earlier in the day, since I did not have a game, I was the only one that had to train so I went to a park and got some distance work in. Tomorrow it is off to Miami!

-TV

CONCACAF Elite Referee Training Course Explained

Every year, CONCACAF organizes a course for elite level referees in the United States. This includes all the referees who participate in tournaments in CONCACAF like the Champions League, Gold Cup and FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. This year, prior to the 2009 Gold Cup, six U.S. referees were invited, of which three are participating in the Gold Cup—Terry, Jair and CJ Morgante. The rest of us had the pleasure of being part of such an important event that took place in Long Beach, California June 28-July 1.

All the referees who were invited from other countries arrived a day earlier. On June 28, we started the activities with a warm welcome from instructors and information about the fitness test we would have to take the following day. Around noon we went to the Home Depot Center to check out the fields. We did some stretching and light fitness for approximately two hours, so that are bodies didn’t go straight from travel into the fitness test the next morning.

On the following day, Monday, the first group arrived at the HDC around 7: 15 in the morning for fitness testing. After a twenty minute warm-up, we began with six repetitions of 40 meters every 6.2 seconds, and after that 12 laps around the track, with an added repetition every two laps. Each added repetition was to run 150 meters in 30 seconds as we went around the track for that lap, with a recuperation time of 35 seconds each in between each sprint. Once everyone was done, we headed to the hotel to continue with lessons in the classroom. By viewing videos of game situations like serious foul plays, violent conduct, diving, positioning on the field of play, and game management situations, we had the opportunity to study common mistakes and ask questions of our instructors, who would later on be issuing exams on the topics we had covered. With short breaks between classroom sessions and lunch, we usually finished our day around 6 p.m. The next day we started the activities again at 6:30 a.m. with some stretching, in the gym and the pool, to recover from our fitness test from the prior day. We then went back to the classroom sessions.

On the last day, Wednesday, we went to the field to do some training sessions on team work, communication, and positioning. Around 7 we had a special dinner, sort of a closing ceremony, giving a good bye to each one of us. It was a wonderful experience for all of us, and no doubt helped improve all of us referees so that we can continue to officiate big matches in CONCACAF.

-U.S. Referee Baldomero Toledo

Monday, July 6, 2009

CONCACAF Gold Cup Blog continued

Everyone today did game preparation, except for me since I have a few more days before my game. I did a high intensity training session. The workout started out with a good warm up. I walked 20 yards from the corner flag toward the goal then I turned on a diagonal, jogging forward 20 yards, then turned and ran backwards to the sideline. Once I hit the line, I had to turn and give a full sprint to the other corner of the field. Then I did the same thing on the other side of the field, coming back to the same corner. That was one lap. I had to do 12 with a 4 minute break and then another 12 laps, and after that I joined the others for a game of keep away.

-TV

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Preparing for Match Two

Today, we woke up in Columbus, Ohio to get ready for our upcoming match. After breakfast we got a bus and went to a soccer field where we did a medium intensity training for 90 minutes, doing a good warm up and interval runs like we would do in a game—some jogging, some full sprints, running backwards and changing back and forth along with some slower walking for recovery. This gets our heart rate up and down as well as works on the way we run in a game.
Then after lunch we had our debriefing from the two game days. All the referees from each group sit in one classroom as we go over video clips. We debrief all the games so we are all on the same page. We go over offside decisions, positioning, misconduct selection, game management, and mechanics. We do this to help us get better for the next matches. Then we have a little free time but before we know it, it's off to the stadium to check the field and facility. Then it is time for dinner and some importaqnt rest before it's time to get up and do it all over again.

-TV

Saturday, July 4, 2009

On To The Next One...

This morning we woke up to head out for the next venue. Our flight departed at ten in the morning. CONCACAF organized for us to fly a charter flight from Long Beach, CA to Columbus, Ohio, along with the other referees that officiated the first two matches at the Home Depot. We also flew with the Jamaican national team and the El Salvador national team. I would like to comment on how well the Gold Cup has been in organizing our pick ups and departures. It was great not to go through two busy airports. The plane landed in Columbus and we just had to get off the plane and into the buses that were waiting for us on the tarmac near the airport. We arrived around five o'clock in the afternoon and went directly to the hotel. Now we just have to get adjusted to the new time zone and get ready for Tuesday's matches. I will be officiating Costa Rica vs Jamaica at 7pm on the 7th of July, while Terry will have the day off. Stay tuned for more as the first round of the 2009 Gold Cup continues!

-JM

Friday, July 3, 2009

Game Day!


After days of training and preparation, today was game day. We were working the opening match between Canada and Jamaica. Here is a run down of the day: We woke up and had breakfast and started making plans for the match. We then got some rest and had lunch while we did our pre-game preparation. We like to do our pre-game before we go to the stadium because at these events you never know what is going to happen when you get to the stadium—with people coming in and out of the locker room, wanting things done on their schedule it is often easier to avoid the distractions to do the pre-game at the hotel.


Then we were off to the stadium with the assistance of a police escort to make the trip quickly. When we arrived we checked the field again, then started changing and getting ourselves ready for the match. Once ready, we warmed up as a team. Game time...the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup is underway!


Game was 1-0 for Can. We then watched the second match as El Salvador defeated Costa Rica 2-1. Tomorrow we get on a flight to Columbus to prepare for the next set of games.
-TV

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Closing Out Camp

The last day of the seminar was today. We had a full day of class, which was focused on making sure we are all on the same page with the things we had covered and a few other subjects were covered too. Then we had another session of practical out on the field. This was more focused and more intense to help us make those decision that we need to work together to get right. While we were waiting our turn to go, we had to do different things moving through cones—some times forward, sometimes backward as well as side to side. We never stopped moving and then for a lot of these decisions we were making 60 yard sprints to simulate us getting caught in transition. Then like the day before we had players doing different things and we had to work with our AR to get the call right. Then we came back to hear closing remarks and got to eat a nice meal and enjoy each other's company. Some participants had to leave the next day, some to go home while others went to locations for Gold Cup games. Lucky for us, we get to stay in L.A. to start. Check back later for more to come!

-TV