Sunday, October 1, 2023
The Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 5

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

Week 5 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 5.

SJ vs SEA: Review for penalty (handball) – given

What happened: A penalty kick was awarded to San Jose Earthquakes for a handball offense by Yeimar Gómez (SEA) when a shot by Javier López (SJ) was blocked in the penalty area.

On-field decision: Penalty kick – handball.
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: No penalty – drop ball.
Length of review: 2:05.

PRO’s Opinion: The ball did make contact with Gómez’s left arm, but that the arm was close to the body, tucked in and not making him unnaturally bigger. The referee agreed with the VAR and overturned his decision. This was a good use of Video Review.

MIN vs DAL: Review for penalty (handball) – not given

What happened: During a Minnesota United attack, a pass by Wil Trapp (MIN) was blocked by defender Matt Hedges (DAL). The ball made contact on the right arm of Hedges while he was within his own penalty area. The referee allowed play to continue.

In the opinion of the VAR, he felt the arm was unnaturally positioned away from the player’s body to make him bigger. The referee looked at the footage at the RRA but formed a different opinion, feeling that the arm was naturally positioned, and the defender was trying to pull the arm back when the ball made contact with it. As such, he retained his no penalty decision.

On-field decision: Play on – goal kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick – handball not given.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:17.

PRO’s Opinion: The arm was naturally positioned and the defender was making an effort to pull his arm away. The ball made contact with the arm when it was close to the body. This was not a clear and obvious error and the Video Review recommendation should not have been made.

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