New York City FC coach Ronny Deila argued an unconventional goal by Jesus Medina against Toronto FC should have been awarded in what turned out to be a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium last Saturday.

Professional Referee Organization (PRO) explained why the goal, which came when Medina jumped up to block an Alex Bono goal kick with the ball caroming off the NYCFC forward and into the net, should have counted. 

Referee Dave Gantar called the goal off, claiming interference on Medina, who was outside the 18-yard box when Bono raced to the edge of the box for his kick. 

It was debated by Andrew Wiebe and Charlie Davies on Instant Replay.


“An indirect free kick is awarded if a player … prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it,” is what IFAB Law 12 Fouls and Misconducts reads. 

But PRO explains Medina was 2.9 yards from Bono when the kick was released and Medina jumped up “and not towards the goalkeeper, to intercept the ball which has already been distributed.”

PRO likened it to a quickly taken free kick when a defender, who hasn’t had the time yet to retreat, moves laterally to intercept the ball. That is “allowed in the Laws of the Game, with the risk being taken by the team taking the quick free kick.”

“The same principle applies here,” PRO wrote. “And ultimately a goal should have been awarded.”

Strangely, it was the second situation Bono was involved in this year, with the first occurring against the Vancouver Whitecaps in Week 2 when Ranko Veselinovic attempted to block a goal kick.

In that one, PRO explains, Veselinovic “moved towards the goalkeeper, lifted his leg and made contact with the ball while the goalkeeper was in the process of kicking the ball. The goalkeeper had not yet distributed the ball, so the referee was correct to stop play and award an indirect free kick.”