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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 22

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

Week 22 overview
There were six Video Reviews during Week 22.

MTL vs TOR: Review for red card (serious foul play) – not given

What Happened: A yellow card was issued to Noble Okello (TFC) for what the referee deemed to be a reckless foul challenge.

On-field decision: Yellow card (reckless challenge).
Type of review: Red card (serious foul play).
Final decision after review: Red card.
Length of review: 1:40.

PRO’s Opinion: Okello had entered the challenge with a raised right foot, with cleats exposed. He missed the ball but drove his foot into the groin area of Victor Wanyama (MTL). The challenge had excessive force and the mode/point of contact endangered the safety of Wanyama.

This was an excellent use of the Video Review system.

ATL vs NSH: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given

What Happened: A penalty kick was awarded to Atlanta United when the on-field referee judged that Alistair Johnston (NSH) had fouled George Bello (ATL) just inside the Nashville penalty area. Bello, who was in possession of the ball, had moved into the penalty area through the sideline. As he did so, he was challenged by Johnston, who failed to make contact on the ball but whose right leg came around the back of the left leg of Bello and brought him down. The referee’s opinion in real-time was that the foul had occurred just inside the penalty area.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty kick – direct freekick.
Final decision after review: Direct freekick.
Length of review: 2:00.

PRO’s Opinion: The foul contact had occurred just outside the area and the referee changed his original penalty call and replaced it with a direct freekick to Atlanta United. This was the correct outcome and a good, effective use of the Video Review.

DC vs PHI: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given

What Happened: The on-field referee rejected a penalty kick appeal by DC United for a possible foul on Yordy Reyna (DC) by Alvas Powell (PHI) in the Philadelphia Union penalty area.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 2:18.

PRO’s Opinion: Reyna had moved onto a loose ball in the penalty area and touched it past the oncoming Powell, and he had been brought down by contact from the left knee of Powell on the left foot of Reyna, as Powell lunged in without making any contact on the ball. This was a clear penalty kick offense.

This was a good use of the Video Review system.

NYC vs NE: Review for goal (offside) – given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Valentín Castellanos (NYC) but disallowed by the on-field match officials for offside. The flag had been raised and the whistle blown after the ball had entered the goal, opening an opportunity for the VAR to check whether the disallowing of the goal was a clear and obvious error.

On-field decision: No goal – offside.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 1:32.

PRO’s Opinion: When the ball was played to Castellanos by teammate Maxi Moralez (NYC) he was being held onside by Henry Kessler (NE) before going through to score with his head.

RBNY vs CHI: Review for goal (offside) – given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Robert Berić (CHI) but disallowed by the on-field match officials for offside. The ball had reached Berić from a Chicago Fire throw-in which had then been deliberately played by the head of defender Andrew Gutman (RBNY) before it deflected off the heel of another player Caden Clark (RBNY). At no point did a Chicago Fire player touch the ball after the throw-in until it reached Berić, who scored.

On-field decision: No goal – offside.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 2:27.

PRO’s Opinion: Although Berić was in an offside position when the ball was last played/touched, he could only have been penalized for being in that position if the ball had been touched to him by a teammate, which wasn’t the case here. The outcome of a goal to Chicago Fire was correct in this situation.

ORL vs MIA: Review for goal (offside) – not given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Orlando City and awarded by the on-field match officials. In real-time, the officials believed the goal had been scored by Robin Jansson (ORL), who had shot from distance. The ball went through a crowd of players in the penalty area and across goalkeeper Nick Marsman (MIA) into the bottom corner of the goal.

The assistant referee at that end of the field of play had identified that Tesho Akindele (ORL) had been in an offside position about eight yards out from goal when Jansson shot and saw that Akindele had extended out his left foot towards the ball as it traveled through to goal. However, the assistant could not see a touch on the ball by Akindele, nor could he form a conclusion that Akindele had committed an offside offense by interfering with the goalkeeper. The goal was awarded.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: Offside.
Length of review: 2:13.

PRO’s Opinion: Akindele definitively made contact on the ball, albeit slight, with his left foot. The images also indicated that Akindele was in an offside position when Jansson had shot, which was consistent with the view of the assistant referee.

This was a good use of Video Review to establish certain pieces of information which were difficult to assess in real-time by the on-field officials, and by doing so, a clear error was rectified in a somewhat complicated situation.

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