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The Ref, Salvadorean Elmer Bonilla


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Here's a page of recent reffing from this young ref from El Salvador: http://www.footballdatabase.eu/football.arbitres.elmer.bonilla.1850.en.html

He did our draw vs. St Kitts last fall, the US-Scotland friendly, a few Concacaf Champions matches. Very few cards shown, does not seem polemical or the kind of ref that needs to stand out. Will have to see if he shows character in Panama tonight.

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Even more info on Mr. Bonilla here:

http://worldreferee.com/site/copy.php?linkID=1890&linkType=referee&contextType=stats

Am I the only one worried that this match will be only his third time refereeing a competitive match at the senior men's national team level? Am I being too picky to want someone more experienced?

Looks like the profile of a young official making his way into the higher levels of international soccer. He has done a lot of international work at U-17, but little at the senior level. If he is ambitious, and liking FIFA assignements, maybe with an eye to 2014 WC, he may want to appear in control and as impartial and unbiased as he can. However, inexperience might also make him susceptible to pressure from the home crowd. We'll see...I feel mildly more comfortable with a young and upcoming official than I do with many of the established "refs" in CONCACAF.

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He gives almost twice as many yellow cards to away teams than the home team...

Eh some of those matches are in 2008-2009 which is a long time, especially for a young ref. In matches from 2010 and on, the only matches where there's a distinct difference are Olympic qualifiers and the U-17 World Cup where the home team wasn't involved.

He did two Jamaica matches in the U-17's and appeared to be impartial there, and has seemed pretty straight edged in the CONCACAF competitions and barely given out cards.

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In CONCACAF you can rationalize giving the away team twice as many YC's because of the nature of home field advantage. And actually if you look at the stats more carefully some of those "away" games were actually neutral site games (U17 WC, Olympic Q).

He has handed out 3 PK's, two of them were at the U17 WC and the other was to the road team in a CCL game - the Montreal Impact. He hands out a PK every 14 matches and RC's every 7 matches. I am actually not <knock on wood> too concerned about this young man.

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Looks like the profile of a young official making his way into the higher levels of international soccer. He has done a lot of international work at U-17, but little at the senior level. If he is ambitious, and liking FIFA assignements, maybe with an eye to 2014 WC, he may want to appear in control and as impartial and unbiased as he can. However, inexperience might also make him susceptible to pressure from the home crowd. We'll see...I feel mildly more comfortable with a young and upcoming official than I do with many of the established "refs" in CONCACAF.

Me too. I would rather have someone who doesn't know he can f*** with us without repercussion, rather than someone who already knows it.

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One of the best CONCACAF refs I have ever seen. Yes a bit too lenient on some time wasting and other central American tactics (he is from there) but very in control of the game, very fair and did not affect then outcome at all. I would take a ref like that in CONCACAF anytime.

Yes, in retrospect, he was ok. It's always tough when watching a match you are so emotional about to properly judge an official but, as you say Grizz, apart from a bit too much leniency on time wasting and perhaps for being sucked in a few times by some dives, he was pretty good and (also) as you say, that's the way the game is played down there and to him that's normal.

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One of the best CONCACAF refs I have ever seen. Yes a bit too lenient on some time wasting and other central American tactics (he is from there) but very in control of the game, very fair and did not affect then outcome at all. I would take a ref like that in CONCACAF anytime.

Also agree, I think limiting it to CONCACAF is even a bit harsh, he was good quality for sure. Let the game breath, called it fair both ways, very impressive officiating. Sad we didn't take better advantage of it.

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You really need to stop worrying about refs and rather see your mistakes in the field and learn from them. Refs are like the weather, you can't to much about it and you have to deal with it and make the necessary adjustments. We had whined a lot about refs here in Panama and victimized ourselves just soo many times, but at the end of the day, when you see things cooly you see that if your team had gotten the job done properly, another attitude, adapted, things can and will work most of the time.

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