The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 35

The Definitive Angle is PRO’s analysis of the week’s Video Review use in MLS.

Week 35 overview
There were three Video Reviews during Week 35.


NYC vs PHI: Review for red card (serious foul play) – not given


What Happened: Gedion Zelalem (NYC) made a challenge on PHI’s Leon Flach (PHI) after Zelalem had taken a heavy touch and then stretched in with his right foot to try to retrieve the ball as Flach moved in. He failed to make any contact on the ball, but the studs of his right foot made contact on Flach above the right ankle in a manner that involved excessive force and endangered Flach’s safety.

In real-time, the referee recognized that the challenge was reckless in nature but did not identify the excessive force resulting from the point and mode of contact. He issued a yellow card to Zelalem, but the VAR saw the extent of the challenge and correctly deemed the non-issuing of a red card to be a clear and obvious error.

On-field decision: Yellow card.
Type of review: Red card (serious foul play).
Final decision after review: Red card.
Length of review: 1:40.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a very effective and efficient use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious on-field error.


CLB vs CHI: Review for goal (ball crossed the goal line) – not given


What Happened: A shot by Miguel Berry (CLB) was blocked near to the Chicago Fire goal line by defender Miguel Navarro (CHI). The on-field officials were not certain whether all the ball had crossed the goal line and allowed play to continue.

Using a handheld camera angle shot from near to the corner flag, the VAR saw that the ball was very clearly over the line by several inches and recommended a Video Review, which resulted in the goal being correctly awarded.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 1:40.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of Video Review to confirm the ball was fully over the line.


LA vs MIN: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What Happened: A goal was scored by Adrien Hunou (MIN) but disallowed for offside by the on-field match officials. The offside flag and whistle had been delayed until after the ball had entered the goal, so the VAR was able to check whether the disallowing of the goal was a clear and obvious error.

On doing so, he saw that Hunou was being played onside by defender Julian Araujo (LA) at the moment the ball was played to Hunou before running through to score, and he, therefore, recommended a Video Review.

On-field decision: No goal – offside.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 1:48.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious on-field error.