Kenny Cooper's winning goal this past Sunday against the Houston Dynamo raised many questions about whether the FC Dallas forward handled the ball in the box as he controlled the aerial pass.
According to the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), however, the non-call from referee Jair Marrufo was the correct one.
In a statement released Thursday about the play, PRO explained the accuracy of the referee's judgment in the match:
"When we look at the Laws of the Game we see that Law 12 states: 'Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration; the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)'.
"As you can see by the video replay [above], the FC Dallas forward is concentrating on the service from his teammate while all the time focusing on trying to head the ball. His arm and hand are in a natural position and he does not make a deliberate movement to contact the ball. Thus a foul for handling the ball was not called."