Home > Referees > U.S. – Panama: Benito Archundia & Walter Quesada

U.S. – Panama: Benito Archundia & Walter Quesada

CONCACAF has announced that Benito Archundia (Mexico) & Walter Quesada (Costa Rica) will be our referee and fourth official for Saturday’s quarterfinal against Panama.  And it might surprise U.S. fans to know that we’re optimistic about our chances with this crew.

Benito Archundia


Archundia was the fourth official for the 2009 Confederations Cup Final, a 3-2 loss to Brazil.  Prior to that match, we noted that Archundia:

is a Mexican official familiar to U.S. fans for refereeing the U.S. – Canada semi-final in the 2007 Gold Cup, in which he issued 6 yellow cards (4 to the U.S., including one to Donovan for diving); 1 red card (to the U.S.); and awarded the U.S. a penalty kick, when the Canadian keeper took Beasley down in the box.  The Red Card (to Michael Bradley for a sliding tackle from behind) kept him out of the Gold Cup Final against Mexico and was awarded in the 89′ minute.  Frankie Hejduk was given a yellow in the 68′ minute that disqualified him from the Final for yellow accumulation over the tournament.  On the other hand, Bocanegra could have been red carded for his challenge that upended a Canadian player.  And replays appeared to show that the U.S. got lucky in having the tying goal disallowed for offside.  (ESPN’s contemporaneous match report)

Thanks to the stats provided by WorldReferee.com we can take a look at Archundia’s disciplinary habits.

In an international career including refereeing 78 matches, Archundia has awarded 9 penalty kicks, 23 red cards, and 301 yellow cards.  Those 301 yellow cards give him an average of 3.8 yellow cards per match.  In other words, Archundia likes discipline.  In fact, he is so fond of it that he has awarded at least one yellow card in 76 of those 78 matches (97%).  21 of his 78 matches had at least one red card (27%).

With 91 fouls, 14 yellows, and 2 reds between them, Panama and the United States probably did not need Archundia to have themselves a colorful afternoon.  But adding him to the mix merely makes it a guarantee.

But there’s more intrigue here:  with Archundia and two Mexican assistants, I would normally be concerned for the U.S.  But Panama’s 1-1 draw against Mexico, in which it committed 12 fouls and earned 3 yellows and both of its straight reds for the tournament, surely has not earned Panama any Mexican fans.  And Archundia is a bigger friend of the U.S. than many might realize.


The U.S. MNT is 5-1-1 in the 7 matches Archundia has officiated.  Our team’s received 15 yellow and 1 red from Archundia, but our opponents have received 17 yellow and 1 red from him.  Archundia has awarded the U.S. two penalty kicks and has never (knock on wood) awarded a penalty kick against the U.S.

Archundia averages four yellow cards per U.S. match:  1.9 to the U.S. and 2.1 to our opponents.


Panama’s national teams (MNT and Olympic Team) are 3-1 in the four matches Archunida has officiated.  He has issued them 13 yellow cards and 2 red cards.  Their opponents have received 12 yellow cards and 2 red cards.  Archundia has never awarded a penalty kick in a Panama match.

Archundia averages 6.3 yellow cards and 1 red card in Panama matches:  3.3 yellows and 0.5 reds for Panama and 3 yellows and 0.5 reds for its opponents.


Walter Quesada

As the fourth official, Quesada’s role will be limited.  But after the gripes about his handling of the last match, having him on board will only elicit grumbles for American fans.

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