The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 11

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

Week 11 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 11.


PHI vs RBNY: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Julián Carranza (PHI), and on checking footage of the goal, the VAR saw that Carranza had been in an offside position when teammate Cory Burke (PHI) had headed the ball towards goal. Carranza had gained an advantage by being in that position when the ball came to him from goalkeeper Carlos Coronel’s (RBNY) save off Burke’s header.

An offside offense had been committed, and the VAR recommended a Video Review for the goal to be disallowed. The referee looked at the footage for himself at the RRA, after which he correctly disallowed the goal for offside and awarded an indirect freekick to NYRB.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 2:52.

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


HOU vs NSH: Review for red card (serious foul play) – given


What happened: Adam Lundkvist (HOU) lunged into a challenge on Alex Muyl (NSH) in midfield with high levels of speed and intensity, arriving late with a straight left leg and bringing Muyl down. The referee deemed in real-time that the challenge had excessive force and thereby endangered Muyl’s safety. He issued a red card for serious foul play.

On checking the footage, the VAR saw that the point of contact from Lundkvists’ left foot on Muyl’s left leg was relatively low, where the top of the boot meets the angle, and that the contact was glancing, with the side of the foot rather than the studs. He, therefore, recommended a Video Review as he felt the issuing of a red card was a clear error.

However, when the referee viewed the images for himself at the RRA, he maintained his red card decision. He felt that the speed and force of the tackle was sufficient to deem the challenge as serious foul play, even without higher contact from the studs.

On-field decision: Red card (serious foul play).
Type of review: No red card.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:47.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a challenge with high speed and a straight leg with a raised foot. The showing of a red card was not clearly wrong, and as such, a Video Review should not have been recommended.


COL vs LAFC: Review for penalty kick (encroachment) – not given


What happened: A Colorado Rapids penalty kick taken by Diego Rubio (COL) was saved by goalkeeper John McCarthy (LAFC), and play was allowed to continue.

On checking footage of the save, the VAR saw that McCarthy had moved forward off the goal line prior to the kick being taken and no longer had a part of at least one foot on, or in-line with, the goal line as required by Law. The VAR recommended a Video Review for the kick to be re-taken.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Encroachment.
Final decision after review: Re-take penalty kick.
Length of review: 0:46.

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


PHI vs RBNY: Review for mistaken identity (yellow card)


What happened: Omir Fernandez (RBNY) and Julián Carranza (PHI) clashed after a freekick had been awarded to New York Red Bulls. Several players joined the melee before the referee restored calm, after which he cautioned the players whom he believed had started the confrontation.

However, while he correctly identified Carranza and cautioned him, he misidentified the New York Red Bulls player, wrongly issuing a caution to Frankie Amaya (RBNY) instead of Fernandez. The VAR stepped in to rectify the error, resulting in the caution issued to Amaya being rescinded by the referee and Fernandez being correctly cautioned instead.

On-field decision: Yellow card to Frankie Amaya.
Type of review: Mistaken identity.
Final decision after review: Yellow card changed to Omir Fernandez.
Length of review: 1:30.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the VAR to rectify a case of mistaken identity.