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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 33

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

Week 33 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 33.


CLB vs ORL: Review for penalty kick (handball) – not given


What Happened: A shot by Benji Michel (ORL) was blocked by Jonathan Mensah (CLB) within the Columbus Crew penalty area and deflected over the crossbar. The referee awarded a corner kick to Orlando City. The VAR saw the shot was blocked by the raised left arm of Mensah, which was unnaturally positioned above his shoulder, making himself bigger.

On-field decision: Corner kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick
Length of review: 2:00.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a clear handball offense that should have resulted in the award of a penalty kick. This was a good efficient use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


CLB vs ORL: Review for penalty kick (encroachment) – not given


What Happened: The penalty kick referenced above was saved by goalkeeper Eloy Room (CLB) diving to his right. The on-field officials did not identify an encroachment offense by the goalkeeper, but the VAR saw that Room had very clearly moved forward off the line before the kick and recommended a Video Review.

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: 0:46.

PRO’s Opinion: The Laws of the Game require the goalkeeper to keep at least part of one foot on or over the goal line at the moment the penalty kick is taken. This was a good use of the Video Review system.


CIN vs NSH: Review for penalty kick (offside in APP) – given


What Happened: The referee identified a penalty kick offense when defender Daniel Lovitz (NSH) made a late and reckless lunging challenge on Edgar Castillo (CIN), who was in the Nashville penalty area and in the process of crossing the ball towards teammate Brenner (CIN). Lovitz failed to make any contact on the ball but made contact on Castillo after the ball had been crossed.

The referee blew to award the penalty but was then informed by his assistant referee that an offside offense had been committed prior to the foul, which had resulted in the award of the penalty kick. As such, the referee assumed that the offside verdict was being made against Castillo, who had received the ball several seconds earlier and he changed his penalty decision and replaced it with an indirect freekick to Nashville for offside.

When the VAR checked the footage, he saw that Castillo had never been offside. The only player in an offside position during this sequence was Brenner, to whom the final ball was being played. However, his offside position was irrelevant because the foul on Castillo had occurred before Brenner had committed any offside offense.

On-field decision: Offside.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 3:17.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to make sure the penalty kick was correctly awarded to FC Cincinnati.


ATL vs MIA: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What Happened: Inter Miami appealed for a penalty kick when Lewis Morgan (MIA) moved onto a ball over the top and touched it past goalkeeper Brad Guzan (ATL) before going down in the Atlanta United penalty area. The referee, being unsure whether Guzan had also touched the ball, waved away the Inter Miami penalty appeals and play continued.

The VAR saw that only Lewis had played the ball, using his right foot to touch it past Guzan before being taken out by Guzan, who arrived late and made heavy contact on him.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty kick.
Length of review: 2:40.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a clear foul, and a penalty kick should have been awarded. This was an efficient and effective use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious on-field error.



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