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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 4

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

Week 4 overview
There were eight Video Reviews during Week 4.


ATL vs POR: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Eryk Williamson (POR) and awarded by the on-field officials. When the shot was taken, Jaroslaw Niezgoda (POR) was in an offside position.

When the VAR checked footage of the incident, he saw that Niezgoda was standing between the ball and the goalkeeper, Brad Guzan (ATL), and that the ball traveled extremely close to Niezgoda. The proximity of the ball to Niezgoda meant that Guzan had to delay his movement until the ball was beyond the player in the offside position. Therefore, he recommended a Video Review for offside (interfering with an opponent).

After seeing the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee agreed and disallowed the goal. Play restarted with an indirect free kick for the offside offense.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside (interfering with an opponent).
Final decision after review: Offside – indirect free kick.
Length of review: 3:10.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to disallow a goal for offside, interfering with play.


MTL vs PHI: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Chinonso Offor (MTL) and awarded by the on-field officials.

When the VAR checked the footage of the incident, he determined that Offor was in an offside position when his teammate last played the ball which was when the ball was headed forward by Mathieu Choinière (MTL). At that moment, Kai Wagner (PHI), was standing close to the goal line, having moved to close down the initial right-wing cross and was keeping Offor onside. However, the angles available to the VAR did not show Wagner in frame, so the VAR recommended a Video Review, believing Offor to be offside.

Initially, the referee disallowed the goal based on the evidence shown to him at the RRA. However, before the game had restarted, the VAR rechecked the build up to the goal and realized that Wagner was just outside the frame of the camera and clearly keeping Offor onside. He then asked the referee to return to the monitor and he showed him Wagner’s position which the referee confirmed. The referee then restored the original on-field decision of goal.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No change – goal.
Length of review: 4:12.

PRO’s Opinion: This was an incorrect intervention by the VAR because the decision to award a goal was correct and there was no offside infraction. Although the review required a second visit to the monitor, it did result in the correct decision at a critical moment of the game.


NYC vs DC: Review for goal (offside) – given


What happened: A goal was scored by Talles Magno (NYC) but disallowed by the on-field officials for an offside offense in the APP. Because the AR had delayed his flag, the VAR was able to check it once Magno scored a goal.

When the VAR checked the footage, he determined that Braian Cufré (NYC) on the left side of the field was in an onside position when the ball was last played to him before he made the final pass to Magno to score from. He, therefore, recommended a Video Review for a goal.

After seeing the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee agreed and awarded the goal.

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

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to reach the correct outcome.


CHI vs CIN: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Junior Moreno (CIN) and awarded by the on-field officials.

When the VAR checked footage of the incident, he saw that Brenner was in an offside position and had moved directly in front of goalkeeper Chris Brady (CHI) as the shot was traveling toward the goal.

The proximity of Brenner to the goalkeeper and the movement in front of the goalkeeper impacted his ability to make a play on the ball. The VAR recommended a Video Review for offside (interfering with an opponent).

The referee disallowed the goal and restarted play with an indirect free kick.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside (interfering with an opponent).
Final decision after review: Offside – indirect free kick.
Length of review: 2:10.

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


DAL vs SKC: Review for penalty kick (encroachment) – not given


What happened: A penalty kick was taken to Sporting Kansas City and saved by goalkeeper Maarten Paes (DAL). Before William Agada (SKC) took the kick, Paes (DAL) had moved forward with both feet off the line.

On seeing this, the VAR recommended a Video Review for the penalty to be retaken due to the goalkeeper’s encroachment. After seeing the footage for himself at the RRA, the referee agreed, and the penalty was retaken.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Encroachment.
Final decision after review: Re-take penalty kick.
Length of review: 1:45.

PRO’s Opinion: This was an efficient and effective use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


DAL vs SKC: Review for penalty kick (offside in APP) – not given


What happened: The referee awarded a penalty kick to Sporting Kansas City after goalkeeper Maarten Paes (DAL) tripped Felipe Hernández (SKC) in the penalty area and denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

As this was an attempt to play the ball, the referee awarded the penalty kick and issued Paes a caution. This was his second yellow card of the match so he was shown a subsequent red card.

When the VAR checked footage of the incident, she saw that Hernández was in an offside position when the ball was last played by his teammate, William Agada (SKC) before the ball had deflected to him from Nkosi Tafari (DAL).

The VAR recommended a Video Review for a possible offside in the APP leading to the penalty. The referee agreed and canceled the penalty kick. He then rescinded the second yellow card to Paes because the DOGSO situation was also canceled by the review, and play restarted with an indirect free kick for the offside offense.

On-field decision: Penalty kick and yellow card.
Type of review: No penalty – offside.
Final decision after review: Offside – indirect free kick and second yellow card rescinded.
Length of review: 2:40.

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


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


What happened: After Ethan Bartlow (HOU) headed the ball toward goal from a Tate Schmitt (HOU) cross, it struck the arm of Adam Lundkvist (ATX). Lundkvist had his arm away from his body, creating a barrier for the ball. The referee did not identify an offense in real-time and allowed play to continue.

When the VAR checked footage of the incident, he saw the arm position as an infraction and recommended a Video Review for penalty. The referee agreed and awarded the penalty kick and issued a yellow card to Lundkvist for stopping a promising attack.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick – handball.
Final decision after review: Penalty and yellow card (stopping a promising attack).
Length of review: 2:46.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to overturn a clear and obvious error.


LA vs VAN: Review for goal (offside) – not given


What happened: A goal is scored by Riqui Puig (LA) and awarded by the on-field officials.

When the VAR checked footage of the incident, he recognized that Dejan Joveljic (LA) was in an offside position when his teammate, Mark Delgado (LA), had played the ball to him, prior to Joveljic crossing for Puig to score.

The VAR recommended a Video Review for offside (interfering with play) in the APP, and after seeing the footage, the referee disallowed the goal. Play restarted with an indirect free kick for the offside offense.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: Offside – indirect free kick.
Length of review: 1:59.

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



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