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EducationThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 10

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

Week 10 overview

There were eight Video Reviews in Week 10, with three matches seeing two reviews each. There were excellent uses of the system in several situations; however, there was one review which resulted in an incorrect outcome after review in the game at Audi Field.

 


COL vs VAN: Review for offside in the APP leading to a goal



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Goal – Onside

What Happened: A goal was scored by Lass Bangoura (VAN) and awarded by the on-field match officials.

The Video Review Process:

The VAR could see that Andy Rose (VAN) had been in a clear offside position on the cross. Rose then challenged an opponent for the ball, thereby committing an offside offense by interfering with that opponent.

PRO’s Decision: The referee disallowed the goal and awarded an indirect free-kick to Colorado Rapids for the offside offense. This was the correct outcome and a good use of the Video Review system.

 


COL vs VAN: Review for penalty kick – not given



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Play on

What Happened: Early in the second half, Colorado Rapids were attacking the Vancouver Whitecaps goal. As a cross came into the penalty area, Axel Sjoberg (COL) and Diego Rubio (COL) both tried to move onto the dropping ball. As they did so, Sjoberg was impeded from behind by Brett Levis (VAN), who barged into the back of Sjoberg, who then collided into teammate Rubio. Both went to ground as a result of this action
by Levis and were therefore unable to reach the ball.

The referee initially allowed play to continue having not identified an infringement, thinking that Sjoberg had backed into Levis. The penalty was converted by Colorado Rapids to tie the game 2-2. However, they would go on to eventually lose 3-2.

The Video Review Process:

  • The VAR checked the footage using several angles but mostly the Game 1 camera.
  • The referee informed the VAR that he had not clearly seen the play because there were a lot of bodies and it looked like Sjoberg had backed into Levis.
  • The VAR could see that Fredy Montero (VAN) had also pushed Levis into Sjoberg and Rubio.
  • At the monitor, the referee was not convinced at first by the images shown on the End Zone camera and made his decision to give the penalty after he saw the images from the Right 18.

PRO’s Decision: Levis’ action, which were also caused by a push from Montero, was clear and obvious and therefore this was the correct outcome and a good use of the Video Review system.

 


DC vs CLB: Review for foul in APP leading to goal



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Goal

What Happened: A goal was scored by Pedro Santos (CLB) and awarded by the on-field match officials. At the start of the APP, there was a coming together in the center circle between Luciano Acosta (DCU) and Wil Trapp (CLB).

In that coming together, there was contact from the foot of Trapp on Acosta, and Acosta went to ground. On seeing this contact, the VAR recommended a Video Review. The referee concurred with the VAR in his view that Trapp had fouled Acosta and therefore disallowed the goal.

The Video Review Process:

  • The VAR began his check at the start of the APP which was the coming together in the center circle.
  • The VAR focused on the contact between Trapp and Acosta.
  • Before recommending the review the VAR asked the referee if he has seen the contact between them and the referee responded that he had not.

PRO’s Decision: This was an example of the VAR looking too hard at detail. Although there was contact between Trapp and Acosta there was no clear foul by Trapp and this was not a good use of the Video Review system. The review should not have been made and the goal should have been allowed to stand. The decision to award the goal was not a clear and obvious error.

 


DC vs CLB: Review for penalty kick for handling



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Play on

What Happened: A ball played into the Columbus Crew penalty area was blocked by Wil Trapp (CLB). The VAR could see that Trapp had leaned to his left towards the ball and extended his left arm away from his body, making himself a bigger obstacle and the ball had made contact with the left arm.

The referee looked at the footage in the RRA and awarded a penalty kick to D.C. United.

The Video Review Process:

  • The VAR immediately recognized that there was a possible handball.
  • Within 15 seconds he recommended a review as he identified Trapp’s movement towards the ball and confirmed that the ball struck his arm.

PRO’s Decision: This was a good use of the Video Review system for a clear handling offense.

 


HOU vs DAL: Review for Serious Foul Play – not given



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Yellow Card – Reckless Foul

What Happened: Thomas McNamara (HOU) committed a reckless foul challenge from behind upon Edwin Cerrillo (DAL). Although McNamara did make contact with the ball using his right foot, in order to do so, he came through the back of Cerrillo, placing his right leg in between the legs of Cerrillo. As a consequence, McNamara had one leg either side of Cerrillo’s left leg when he brought his opponent down.

PRO’s Decision: This was certainly a poor challenge which had some degree of force. However, McNamara never brought his two legs together in a scissor motion. It is subjective as to whether the level of force used was excessive and whether the safety of the opponent was endangered. The non-award of a red card, in this case, was not a clear and obvious error. This is still the threshold we work to and as such a Video Review should not have been recommended.

 


RSL vs POR: Review for penalty kick – handling – not given



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Play on

What Happened: A cross from Jefferson Savarino (RSL) was handled by Zarek Valentin (POR) within the Portland Timbers penalty area. The right arm of Valentin moved up and out away from the body into the path of the ball, which had travelled several yards and therefore could not be considered unexpected.
The referee did not initially penalize the offense, due to the contact between the ball and the hand being on his blindside. The referee looked at the footage in the RRA and having done so he awarded a penalty kick to Real Salt Lake.

The Video Review Process:

  • The VAR began to check for the possible handball while play continued.
  • Using a combination of the Game camera and Right 18 he could see that the ball clearly hit the arm and that it was away from the body when it did. He zoomed in to make sure.
  • 33 seconds: He asked the referee to stop the play as the ball was in a neutral zone.
  • He showed the referee the High Tight angle.
  • The referee awarded the penalty kick.

PRO’s Decision: This was the correct outcome and a good use of the Video Review system.

 


RBNY vs LA: Review for offside in the APP leading to goal



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Goal

What Happened: A goal was scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA) and awarded by the on-field match officials.

The VAR concluded that Chris Pontius (LA) committed an offside offense in the APP, on the first crossing pass, and as such recommended a Video Review.

The Video Review Process:

  • The AR alerted the VAR that he had a very close offside decision as soon as the goal is scored.
  • The AVAR and VAR felt that the shoulder of Pontius was offside.
  • The AR alerted the VAR that he felt that Tim Parker (RBNY) had kept him on.
  • The referee saw Parker’s position and believed that it is too close to overturn the decision as it was not clear and obvious.
  • The referee correctly retained his original decision and allowed the goal to stand.

PRO’s Decision: This was the correct outcome for a situation which was far from conclusive. In such circumstances, the VAR should defer to the on-field decision, which in this case was no-offside. This was an incorrect use of the Video Review system, however ultimately, the correct outcome.

 


RBNY vs LA: Review for offside in the APP leading to a goal



Starting Point – On-field Decision: Goal

What Happened: A goal was scored by Derrick Etienne (RBNY) but was cancelled by the on-field match officials, who deemed that Etienne’s teammate Brian White (RBNY) had committed an offside offense by interfering with an opponent – goalkeeper David Bingham (LA) – by obstructing Bingham’s line of vision while in an offside position.

However, it was Bingham’s teammate Rolf Feltscher (LA) who blocked his view.

Additionally, as the shot was taken, Bingham committed to diving right in anticipation of the ball going in that direction. As such, there was nothing Bingham could do to stop the shot, regardless of White’s position.

Having looked at the footage in the RRA, the referee concurred with the view of the VAR and awarded the goal.

The Video Review Process:

  • Because the whistle to allow the goal had been blown after the ball had entered the goal a window was open for the VAR to check for a clear and obvious error.
  • The VAR could see that, although White was in an offside position and was close to Bingham, he did not obstruct his line of vision on the shot from Etienne.

The VAR also saw that White had not made contact with or hindered Bingham’s movement.

PRO’s Decision: This was the correct outcome for an offside situation that was subjective. The VAR was able to determine that White did not interfere with an opponent by blocking his line of vision, which would have been difficult for the on-field officials to see. This was a correct use of the Video Review system.



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