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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 6

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

There were five Video Reviews during Week 6.


TOR vs CLT: Review for goal (foul in APP) – not given


What Happened: A goal was scored by Michael Bradley (TOR) and awarded by the on-field officials.

When the VAR checked the footage of the incident, he saw Bradley had put his outstretched arms on the back of Harrison Afful (CLT) as they both jumped to contest the ball from a corner.

The VAR analyzed the available angles, determined that, in his opinion, the contact was a foul, and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee retained his original decision of a goal.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – foul in APP.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 1:40.

PRO’s Opinion: This was an unnecessary intervention. The contact by Bradley was not a pushing motion and did not impact Afful’s ability to attempt to play the ball. This was not a foul in the APP worthy of rescinding a goal.


CIN vs MIA: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given


What Happened: The referee awarded a penalty after Rodolfo Pizarro (MIA) went down in the penalty area after a sliding challenge by Marco Angulo (CIN).

Angulo made contact on the legs of Pizarro and tripped him. The VAR saw the contact which brought Pizarro down occurred just outside the penalty area.

The VAR recommended a Video Review after a lengthy check, and the referee changed the decision from a penalty kick to a direct free kick.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty – foul outside penalty area.
Final decision after review: Direct free kick.
Length of review: 5:53.

PRO’s Opinion: For various reasons, this review took too long to come to the correct decision of direct free kick. When reviews take this long to complete, they lose credibility. PRO is committed to making reviews more efficient so as to disrupt the game as little as possible.


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


What Happened: Cristian Espinoza (SJ) played the ball toward the center of the penalty area from the goal line, and it struck the hand of Teenage Hadebe (HOU), who was closing him down.

The VAR analyzed the angles, specifically the behind-the-goal camera which appeared to show Hadebe’s arm away from his body and determined that this was a handball offense, and recommended an on-field review.

At the RRA, the referee was presented with this angle and also determined that Hadebe had committed a handball offense. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:41.

PRO’s Opinion: Hadebe had his arm at his side, in a natural position as he moved. The angle used was deceptive as the arm was away from the body but behind and was not making his body unnaturally bigger. This was not a clear and obvious error, and the VAR should not have intervened.


SJ vs HOU: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What Happened: Cade Cowell (SJ) was challenged by Ethan Bartlow (HOU) inside the penalty area. Bartlow attempted to play the ball with his leg but did not make contact with the ball. Instead, he made contact with the shin of Cowell and tripped him, causing him to stumble and lose control of the ball. Cowell tried to stay on his feet but wasn’t able to continue with the ball. The referee did not identify an offense in real-time and allowed play to continue.

The VAR analyzed the video angles and determined that a clear and obvious error had occurred, and he recommended an on-field review. Following Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick to San Jose Earthquakes.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:30.

PRO’s Opinion: The contact on Cowell’s shin was impactful as it caused him to lose possession of the ball, whereas he would have retained it and continued his run toward goal. This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


VAN vs MT: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given


What Happened: After he gained possession of the ball, Simon Becher (VAN) moved directly toward the goal. Rudy Camacho (MTL) reached out and held the jersey of Becher, who just had the goalkeeper to beat. The referee whistled for the foul and then, after consultation with his assistant referee, determined that the holding had occurred inside the penalty area. The referee awarded a penalty kick to Vancouver Whitecaps and showed Camacho a red card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

The VAR analyzed the angles, determined that the holding offense finished outside the penalty area, and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee changed the decision from a penalty kick to a direct free kick. The red card remained as the DOGSO did not change.

On-field decision: Penalty kick and red card (DOGSO).
Type of review: No penalty – foul outside penalty area.
Final decision after review: Direct free kick.
Length of review: 2:06.

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



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