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The Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 4

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

Week 4 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 4.


CHI vs PHI: Review for red cards (violent conduct) – not given


What happened: Defender Boris Sekulić (CHI) played the ball back to his goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (CHI) while under pressure from Sergio Santos (PHI), who ran into the back of Sekulić after the ball had been played. This created a confrontation between the two players, who went head-to-head, pushing their foreheads against each other. Santos then used his left arm to push Sekulić’s head away. The referee quickly moved in and cautioned both players.

In the opinion of the VAR, both Sekulić and Santos were guilty of violent conduct through the way they had moved their heads into the head of their opponent, and he recommended a Video Review.

On-field decision: Yellow cards for Sekulić and Santos.
Type of review: Red cards (violent conduct) for both players.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 3:25.

PRO’s Opinion: Both players were guilty of showing a lack of respect for the game. Neither player made a forceful, deliberate head-butting action and their actions fell short of violent conduct. The incident was seen by the referee and, as such, was not a missed incident, the yellow cards are not clearly wrong, and the Video Review should not have been recommended.


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


What happened: New England Revolution appealed for a penalty when Adam Buksa (NE) went to ground in the Nashville penalty area under a challenge from Alistair Johnston (NSH). The ball ran to Tajon Buchanan (NE), who shot wide, and the referee awarded a goal kick to Nashville. The VAR could see that Johnston had made no contact on the ball but had made foul contact on Buksa and as such, a foul had been committed, which should have resulted in the award of a penalty kick to New England Revolution.

On-field decision: Goal kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick – foul.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:50.

PRO’s Opinion: Although the ball did run to Buchanan and referees will hold their whistle in such circumstances in case a goal results; such situations cannot be considered an advantage as the real benefit when a goal doesn’t result is the award of a penalty kick. The attacker was fouled. After review, the penalty should have been awarded.


VAN vs MTL: Review for goal (foul in APP) – not given


What happened: Lassi Lappalainen (MTL) scored a goal which was awarded by the on-field match officials. There was a suspicion of both handball and offside in the attacking possession phase prior to the goal. The VAR could see that Erik Hurtado (MTL) had made contact on the ball with his left arm, which was positioned unnaturally, extended away from his body thereby making himself bigger. Having made contact with Hurtado’s arm, the ball immediately went to Lappalainen was also in an offside position prior to scoring. The VAR recommended a Video Review for the handball offense by Hurtado, which occurred first.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – handball in APP.
Final decision after review: No goal – handball in APP.
Length of review: 1:50.

PRO’s Opinion: The referee looked at the footage at the RRA and correctly disallowed the Montreal goal for a handball foul in the APP leading to a goal. This was a correct, efficient use of video review. The VAR had the option to recommend the review for either the handball or the offside offense.


POR vs SEA: Review for penalty kick (encroachment) – not given


What happened: A penalty kick taken by Diego Valeri (POR) was saved by goalkeeper Stefan Frei (SEA), and the on-field match officials allowed play to continue. The VAR could see that Frei had moved forward from the line early.

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: 1:30.

PRO’s Opinion: This is a factual decision, and the video evidence is clear that at the moment the penalty was taken, Frei did not have at least one foot on or above the goal line. This was a good use of Video Review.



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