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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 29

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

Week 29 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 29.


TOR vs MTL: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What Happened: Ayo Akinola (TOR) went down in the CF Montréal penalty area under challenge from Samuel Piette (MTL). The referee did not identify an offense in real-time, but when the VAR checked footage of the incident, he saw that Piette had failed to play the ball and had fouled Akinola by extending his leg out across the path of Akinola after the Toronto FC player had touched the ball forward past Piette.

As such, the VAR recommended a Video Review for a penalty kick to be awarded to Toronto FC, and after seeing the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee agreed.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick – foul challenge.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:38.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good, efficient use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error early in the game.


LA vs SKC: Review for penalty kick (handball) – not given


What Happened: A header towards goal by Samuel Grandsir (LA) was blocked in the Sporting Kansas City penalty area by Kayden Pierre (SKC). The referee did not detect an offense in real-time and allowed play to continue. However, when the VAR checked footage of the incident, she saw that the ball had been blocked by the left arm of Pierre, which in her opinion, was extended out away from his body, making himself unnaturally bigger.

Even though the ball had made contact with Pierre’s body first before hitting his left arm, the arm had still created a barrier for the ball. As such, the VAR formed the opinion that a handball offense had been committed and that the non-award of a penalty kick was a clear and obvious error. She recommended a Video Review, and after looking at the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee concurred and awarded a penalty kick.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick – handball.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 2:45.

PRO’s Opinion: The outcome in this situation was credible, as the ball was blocked by the arm, which was somewhat away from the body. Pierre had reached the ball second and had taken a risk in his actions.



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