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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 21

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

Week 21 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 21.

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

What Happened: A goal was scored by Gyasi Zardes (COL) and awarded by the on-field match officials. As always, the VAR checked the footage of the goal and saw that Keegan Rosenberry (COL) was in an offside position within the LA Galaxy goal area, in front of and in close proximity to the goalkeeper Jonathan Bond (LA). At the moment Zardes headed the ball towards goal Rosenberry ducked to ensure the ball went over his head on its way through to goal.

The VAR formed the opinion that Rosenberry’s offside location and actions had impacted the ability of Bond to play the ball, and as such, an offside offense had been committed. A Video Review was recommended, and after viewing the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee concurred with the view of the VAR and disallowed the goal.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 3:12.

PRO’s Opinion: In general, when attackers are in front of goalkeepers and within close proximity, officials will penalize them. Rosenberry’s action of ducking clearly indicates he felt he was very close to blocking the path of the ball and the offside offense of “interfering with an opponent” was committed. As such, this Video Review is supported.

NSH vs LAFC: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given

What Happened: Nashville took an in-swinging corner kick from the right-hand side, which CJ Sapong (NSH) started to move toward. As he did so, he was being marked by Ilie (LAFC), who slipped as he tracked Sapong, and with his right hand, grabbed the back of Sapong’s jersey, thereby pulling the attacker down. The holding offense was clear, with Sapong’s jersey was visibly extended away from his torso from behind.

The referee didn’t see the hold, which occurred within a crowded penalty area as the ball came in, and he allowed play to continue. The VAR checked the footage of the incident and saw the clear holding offense by Ilie, and he recommended a Video Review. Having seen the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee agreed and awarded a penalty kick to Nashville.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick (holding).
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:48.

PRO’s Opinion: This was an excellent use of the Video Review system to award a penalty kick for an offense which had been missed by the referee. Even though Sapong was not moving into the dropping zone where the ball was landing, he may have been able to reach the second ball, and the holding offense was so clear, and had impact.

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