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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 25

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

Week 25 overview
There were five Video Reviews during Week 25.


NYC vs DAL: Review for red card (serious foul play) – not given


What Happened: In the closing stages of the game, with the score at 3-3, Thiago (NYC) challenged Jesús Ferreira (DAL) for a loose ball. The challenge left Ferreira on the floor, requiring attention from the club’s medical staff.

The referee deemed the challenge to be reckless and therefore penalized Thiago and issued him a yellow card. The VAR checked the footage to establish whether the non-issuing of a red card was a clear and obvious error.

He could see that Thiago had moved into the challenge with a raised right straight leg, going well over the ball and directing his foot with cleats exposed into the right leg of Ferreira. The cleats made contact high on the shin of Ferreira, just below the knee, before sliding down onto the foot.

On-field decision: Yellow card (reckless challenge).
Type of review: Red card (serious foul play).
Final decision after review: Red card.
Length of review: 2:23.

PRO’s Opinion: The challenge involved excessive force which endangered the safety of the opponent, and as such, was serious foul play worthy of a red card punishment. This was an appropriate use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


TOR vs MIA: Review for penalty kick (offside in APP) – not given


What Happened: An attacking freekick quickly taken by Toronto FC was played into the feet of Richie Laryea (TOR), who then entered the Inter Miami penalty area being pursued by Gregore (MIA), who pulled at the arm of Laryea in an attempt to slow him down.

Even though Laryea was able to release a shot from a tight angle, the referee deemed that Gregore’s actions had unfairly impacted Laryea and therefore awarded a penalty kick to Toronto FC. The referee also deemed that Gregore’s actions had denied Laryea an obvious goalscoring opportunity and therefore issued the Inter Miami player with a red card for DOGSO.

On-field decision: Penalty kick and red card (DOGSO).
Type of review: Offside.
Final decision after review: Offside and red card rescinded.
Length of review: 1:22.

PRO’s Opinion: Laryea was in an offside position when the ball was played to him from the freekick and had committed an offside offense when he played the ball. As such, no obvious goalscoring opportunity could exist in this case.
The referee rescinded the previously issued red card and changed the penalty kick re-start to an indirect freekick to Inter Miami for offside. This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error made in respect of the offside offense which had been missed.


SKC vs MIN: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What Happened: Sporting Kansas City appealed for a penalty kick when Khiry Shelton (SKC) went down in the Minnesota United penalty area under a challenge from goalkeeper Tyler Miller (MIN). The on-field referee waved the appeals away.

The VAR checked the footage to establish whether the on-field decision was a clear and obvious error. On doing so, he could see that Shelton played the ball past Miller, who slid out and went to ground at the feet of Shelton. Miller failed to make any contact on the ball but slid into the legs of Shelton, thereby bringing him down.

On-field decision: Goal kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 1:40.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a very clear penalty kick offense, and as such, the VAR correctly recommended a Video Review. This was the correct outcome and a good, efficient use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


ATX vs LAFC: Review for penalty kick (handball) – not given


What Happened: Los Angeles Football Club appealed for a handball penalty kick when a cross by Kim Moon-Hwan (LAFC) was blocked by Diego Fagundez (ATX). The on-field referee waved away the appeal, but when the VAR checked the footage, he saw that Fagundez had turned his back to the ball and raised his right arm after it had been played by Moon-Hwan. The arm was placed into the path of the ball, thereby creating a barrier, in a position which was not natural nor justifiable for the playing action of Fagundez.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 2:35.

PRO’s Opinion: The arm had made Fagundez’s body shape unnaturally bigger, and as such, a penalty kick should have been awarded. Recognizing this, the VAR recommended a Video Review, and after looking at the footage at the RRA, the referee concurred and awarded a penalty kick to Los Angeles Football Club.

This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


SJ vs RSL: Review for red card (serious foul play) – given


What Happened: A red card was issued by the on-field referee to Damir Kreilach (RSL) for what he perceived to be serious foul play through the use of an elbow thrown with brutality into the face of Tanner Beason (SJ) while challenging for the ball. The VAR checked the footage of the incident and saw that Kreilach’s elbow had not made contact with Beason at all, but rather an open right hand which had made contact with the jaw of Beason in a manner consistent with a reckless act but falling well short of serious foul play or violent conduct.

On-field decision: Red card (serious foul play).
Type of review: Yellow card (reckless challenge).
Final decision after review: Yellow card.
Length of review: 2:10.

PRO’s Opinion: The VAR correctly recognized the on-field red card decision was a clear and obvious error and recommended a Video Review. The referee looked at the footage at the RRA and, having done so, rescinded his initial red card sanction for Kreilach and replaced it with a yellow card.

This was an excellent and efficient use of the Video Review system to correct a clear and obvious error in a match critical situation.



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