Sunday, October 1, 2023
The Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 3

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

Week 3 overview
There were five Video Reviews during Week 3.


NE vs ATL: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – not given


What happened: Early in the second half, a direct freekick was awarded by the referee to New England Revolution for a foul challenge by Emerson Hyndman (ATL) on Tajon Buchanan (NE). Hyndman’s left leg had made late foul contact on the right leg of Buchanan. The referee specifically penalized the contact, which was knee-on-knee, which he deemed to have occurred just outside the penalty area and therefore awarded a direct freekick to New England Revolution.

On-field decision: Direct freekick.
Type of review: Penalty kick – foul inside.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 2:20.

PRO’s Opinion: The knee-on-knee contact had occurred above the penalty area line, which is part of the penalty area; as such the offense should have resulted in the award of a penalty kick. The referee correctly changed his decision. This was a good review and a correct final outcome.


PHI vs NYC: Review for red card (violent conduct) – not given


What happened: José Martínez (PHI) and Valentín Castellanos (NYC) challenged for the ball in midfield. A Video Review was recommended for the non-showing of a red card for violent conduct. The referee looked at the footage at the Referee Review Area (RRA) and then changed his yellow card decision by issuing a red card to Martínez.

On-field decision: Yellow card.
Type of review: Red card (violent conduct).
Final decision after review: Red card (violent conduct).
Length of review: 1:20.

PRO’s Opinion: Martínez had used his right arm to violently strike Castellanos to the head after the ball had gone. This was an excellent use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious on-field error and to correctly penalize a player who was guilty of violent conduct.


NSH vs MIA: Review for red card (DOGSO) – not given


What happened: A long ball was played forward towards Robbie Robinson (MIA), who was being marked by defender Walker Zimmerman (NSH). As the two players challenged for the dropping ball, Zimmerman reached it with his head but was unable to make good contact and Robinson then controlled the ball on his chest to move it past Zimmerman, who pulled him down.

The referee decided to show a yellow card to Zimmerman, as he felt the location and movement of David Romney (NSH) reduced this situation to stopping a promising attack. In the VAR’s opinion, all four criteria for DOGSO were met, and he recommended a Video Review. However, the referee retained his original yellow card decision.

On-field decision: Yellow card (SPA).
Type of review: Red card (DOGSO).
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 3:17.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a difficult call and the matter of Romney’s position has some subjectivity. Romney was behind the location of the foul and slightly to the right, and the foul happened centrally and only 25 yards out, meaning Romney did not have much time to intervene. A red card is the correct outcome.


VAN vs COL: Review for red card (violent conduct) – not given


What happened: Lucas Cavallini (VAN) and Andre Shinyashiki (COL) moved towards a long forward ball. Shinyashiki was slightly ahead of Cavallini and moved into his path. As they ran, Cavallini raised his right arm as the two came together and appeared to make contact with the head of Shinyashiki, causing the Colorado Rapids player to go down.

The referee stopped the game and issued a yellow card to Cavallini for lack of respect for the game. The VAR formed the opinion that Cavallini had used his right arm to violently strike Shinyashiki, and recommended a Video Review for a possible red card. The referee looked at the footage at the RRA but decided to retain his original yellow card decision.

On-field decision: Yellow card.
Type of review: Red card (violent conduct).
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:50.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a close call, as Cavallini’s actions were ill-advised and not necessary. They were not consistent with a player trying to use his arms to move past an opponent. As such, it is understandable why the VAR would conclude that a Video Review was necessary. However, the footage is not totally clear as to how much force was used or the exact type of contact by Cavallini and, as such, a subjective situation. The final yellow card decision is supported.


VAN vs COL: Review for penalty kick (holding) – given


What happened: A penalty kick was awarded by the referee for a holding offense by Kellyn Acosta (COL) on Caio Alexandre (VAN) near to the far post at the taking of a Vancouver Whitecaps corner. Prior to the taking of the corner, the two players had been jostling and when the ball came in Alexandre went to ground, taking Acosta with him.

The VAR formed the opinion that an error had been made and therefore recommended a Video Review. After reviewing the situation at the RRA, the referee concurred with the VAR and overturned his penalty decision, restarting the game with a drop ball to goalkeeper William Yarbrough (COL).

On-field decision: Penalty.
Type of review: No penalty kick – holding.
Final decision after review: No penalty – drop ball.
Length of review: 1:48.

PRO’s Opinion: It is clear both players are holding each other to some degree, but it is obvious that Alexandre throws himself forward and down, thereby taking Acosta with him. The ball is nowhere near this situation, and the penalty outcome has little credibility.

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