Thursday, February 22, 2024
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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 7

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

Week 7 overview
There were six Video Reviews during Week 7.


CHI vs LA: Review for goal (offside in APP) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Douglas Costa (LA) and awarded by the on-field match officials.

On checking the goal, the VAR saw that Costa had been in an offside position when the ball was played forward to him by teammate Javier Hernández (LA). As such, he had committed an offside offense, so a Video Review was recommended.

After viewing the images at the RRA, the referee disallowed the goal and awarded an indirect freekick to Chicago Fire for offside.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal – indirect freekick.
Length of review: 3:00.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system. Although this was a close call, the video shows that Costa was clearly ahead of the second-rearmost defender when the ball was played to him.


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


What Happened: In time allowed for stoppages at the end of the game, a goal was scored by Vancouver Whitecaps and awarded by the on-field match officials to make the score 2-2.

On checking the goal, the VAR saw that the goalscorer Tosaint Ricketts (VAN) had moved back onto the ball from an offside position as it was crossed into the CF Montréal penalty area by teammate Russell Teibert (VAN) before he headed it into the goal. The VAR also noted that the ball had made contact with the foot of defender Ismaël Koné (MTL) just after Teibert had crossed it on its way to Ricketts.

However, Koné was close to Teibert, merely attempting to block the cross, and the contact on his foot was correctly recognized by the VAR as a deflection rather than a deliberate play, and this did not negate Ricketts’ offside position.

Therefore, the VAR recommended a Video Review for the goal by Ricketts to be disallowed for offside, and after viewing the footage at the RRA, the referee concurred with the VAR. The goal was disallowed, and an indirect freekick was awarded to CF Montréal for offside.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal – indirect freekick.
Length of review: 2:59.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of Video Review to rectify a clear and obvious error in a very important moment of the match.


DC vs ATX: Review for goal (offside in APP) – not given


What Happened: A goal was scored by Diego Fagúndez (ATX) and awarded by the on-field match officials.

On checking the goal, the VAR saw that Maxi Urruti (ATX) was in an offside position when the ball was crossed to him at the far post by teammate Alex Ring (ATX). Urruti had then cut the ball back to Fagúndez to score. The offside offense had been missed by the on-field officials, and as such, the VAR recommended a Video Review for the goal to be disallowed.

After viewing the footage for herself at the RRA, the referee correctly disallowed the goal and awarded an indirect freekick for offside to DC United.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal – indirect freekick.
Length of review: 1:08.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good but straightforward Video Review to rectify a very clear error on the field.


MIN vs COL: Review for red card (serious foul play) – given


What Happened: The referee issued a red card to Jack Price (COL) for what he deemed to be a serious foul play challenge from behind on Luis Amarilla (MIN).

The VAR saw that Price’s actions fell short of serious foul play and were merely reckless. The challenge did not have excessive force, and the point/mode of contact was not with the studs onto the Achilles, which is what the referee described he had seen to the VAR.

A Video Review was recommended, and when the referee saw the footage for himself at the RRA, he agreed with the opinion of the VAR that the red card was an error. He, therefore, rescinded it, replacing it instead with a yellow card, which was the appropriate disciplinary sanction for Price’s challenge.

On-field decision: Red card (serious foul play).
Type of review: No red card.
Final decision after review: Yellow card (reckless challenge).
Length of review: 1:44.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a very good use of the Video Review system to efficiently rectify a clear and obvious on-field decision made by the referee in real-time.


MIN vs COL: Review for goal (offside in APP) – given


What Happened: A goal was scored by Diego Rubio (COL) but was disallowed for offside. However, because the whistle to penalize the offense had been blown after the ball had entered the goal, a window of opportunity existed for the VAR to check whether the decision to disallow the goal was a clear and obvious error.

On checking the footage, the VAR saw that Rubio was in an offside position when the ball was played into him from wide left, and he remained in an offside position until such time that he played the ball into the goal.

However, crucially, as the ball traveled across the penalty area towards Rubio, defender Bakaye Dibassy (MIN) had tried to intercept it, moving to the ball with time and space and extending his left leg out to play the ball. He only succeeded in touching it to Rubio, who then scored. The actions of Dibassy were correctly recognized by the VAR as being a deliberate play on the ball, which negated the offside position of Rubio. As such, a Video Review was recommended, and after seeing the footage on the pitch side monitor, the referee concurred with the VAR and awarded the goal to Colorado Rapids.

On-field decision: No goal – offside.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 2:25.

PRO’s Opinion: The assistant referee had seen the touch on the ball by Dibassy but had deemed that Rubio was challenging Dibassy for the ball when the play was made by the defender. If Rubio had been challenging for the ball, that would have been an offense of “offside – interfering with an opponent”.

However, the video footage shows that Rubio was too far away from Dibassy to be considered challenging him. As such, Rubio had not committed an offside offense by receiving the ball from Dibassy. This was a good goal, and the Video Review intervention was correct.


TOR vs PHI: Review for goal (offside in APP) – not given


What Happened: In the closing stages of the first half, with the score at 1-1, a goal was scored by Kai Wagner (PHI) and awarded by the on-field match officials to make the score 2-1 to Philadelphia Union.

On checking footage of the goal, the VAR saw that Julián Carranza (PHI) was in an offside position at the moment when Wagner shot and impacted goalkeeper Alex Bono (TOR) by being in his line of sight; Bono then reacted late to the shot. Carranza had to adjust his body position slightly to the right to enable the ball to pass very close to him on its way to goal.

The VAR formed the opinion that Carranza had committed an offside offense by interfering with an opponent’s ability to play the ball due to being in that opponent’s line of sight. He, therefore, recommended a Video Review.

After looking at the footage at the RRA and concurring with the VAR, the referee disallowed the goal and awarded an indirect freekick to Toronto FC for offside.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal – indirect freekick.
Length of review: 2:03.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a correct use of the Video Review system to overturn an outcome that was clearly and obviously incorrect. Such situations are challenging for the on-field officials to judge in real-time, and this incident demonstrates the value of the Video Review system.



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