Wednesday, October 4, 2023
The Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 1

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

Week 1 overview
There were five Video Reviews during Week 1.


NSH vs CIN: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What happened: Goalkeeper Joe Willis (NSH) took a heavy touch within his own penalty area, allowing Brenner (CIN) to steal in and knock the ball away from him. Willis then made contact on Brenner. The referee allowed play to continue.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick not given for a foul challenge.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick. No misconduct.
Length of review: 1:28.

PRO’s Opinion: Willis was second to the ball and kicked his opponent in a clear, careless foul. The referee correctly awarded a penalty kick. This was an excellent use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


MTL vs TOR: Review for penalty kick (encroachment) – not given


What happened: An Auro Jr (TFC) penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Clément Diop (MTL). The on-field officials allowed the game to continue after the save.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick – encroachment not given.
Final decision after review: Re-take of penalty kick and warning to the goalkeeper.
Length of review: 1:01.

PRO’s Opinion: Diop had clearly moved forward off his goal line before the kick was taken. As per the 2021 Law change, Diop was only warned for this first offense, rather than being cautioned. This was a good Video Review.


CHI vs NE: Review for red card (DOGSO) – given


What happened: In time allowed for stoppages at the end of the game, the referee penalized DeJuan Jones (NE) for a foul challenge on Przemysław Frankowski (CHI) just outside the New England penalty area. The referee deemed the offense to have denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO) and issued a red card to Jones. The VAR checked the footage and concluded that the issuing of a red card was a clear and obvious error due to the location of another defender Andrew Farrell (NE).

On-field decision: Red card (DOGSO).
Type of review: No red card (DOGSO).
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 3:30.

PRO’s Opinion: The referee retained his original DOGSO red card decision. However, the location of Farrell, combined with the fact the play was slightly wide of goal, leads PRO to believe that a more appropriate sanction would have been a yellow card for stopping a promising attack.


CLB vs PHI: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given


What happened: A penalty kick was awarded to Columbus Crew when Pedro Santos (CLB) was illegally barged to the ground by Jakob Glesnes (PHI) near to the top of the penalty area. The VAR checked the footage and could see that the offense had occurred outside the penalty area, and recommended a Video Review.

On-field decision: Penalty kick – foul inside.
Type of review: No penalty kick – foul outside.
Final decision after review: Direct free kick and yellow card for SPA.
Length of review: 2:58.

PRO’s Opinion: The referee correctly rescinded the penalty kick and awarded a direct free kick outside the penalty area. After the review, the referee also showed a yellow card to Glesnes for SPA; however, Pedro Santos had controlled the ball with his head prior to being fouled and was going towards the goal with an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. A red card for DOGSO should have been issued, as all elements of that offense were present.


VAN vs POR: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Cristian Dájome (VAN) and awarded by the on-field officials. However, when the VAR checked the footage, he identified that Jake Nerwinski (VAN) was in an offside position when the ball was crossed into the penalty area and had blocked the movement of defender Dario Župarić (POR), who was, therefore, unable to challenge for the ball.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal (offside in the attacking possession phase, interfering with an opponent).
Final decision after review: No goal – indirect free kick.
Length of review: 2:30.

PRO’s Opinion: The goal was correctly disallowed for offside, interfering with an opponent. The offside positioned attacker blocks, with contact, a defender who would have had the ability to challenge for the ball, and this clear action had an impact.

This was a good use of Video Review to identify an offside infraction that would have been difficult for the assistant referee to see in live play.

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