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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

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 seven Video Reviews during Week 7.


NYC vs ATL: Review for red card (serious foul play) – not given


What Happened: A direct free kick was awarded to Atlanta United and a yellow card was issued to James Sands (NYC) after a challenge with Franco Ibarra (ATL).

The VAR analyzed the available angles and recommended an on-field review for serious foul play by Ibarra. He felt that Ibarra used excessive force and endangered the safety of his opponent. He did not play the ball but instead made contact using his studs above the ankle of Sands.

After Video Review, the referee rescinded the yellow card to Sands and issued a red card to Ibarra.

On-field decision: Yellow card (reckless challenge) to Sands.
Type of review: Red card (serious foul play) to Ibarra.
Final decision after review: Red card issued and yellow card rescinded.
Length of review: 3:05.

PRO’s Opinion: From the referee’s position, it appeared as if Ibarra played the ball; however, he did not and the amount of force in the challenge was excessive. This was a good use of the Video Review system to overturn a clear and obvious error.


DC vs CLB: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What Happened: Alexandru Matan (CLB) entered the penalty area with the ball, where he was challenged by Russell Canouse (DC). Canouse made contact using his studs near the Achilles/heel of Matan and caused him to go to ground. The referee did not identify an offense in real-time and allowed play to continue.

After analyzing the video angles, the VAR recommended an on-field review for a possible penalty. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick to Columbus Crew.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 2:50.

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


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


What Happened: A goal was scored by Kei Kamara (CHI) but disallowed by the on-field officials for an offside offense in the APP by Chris Mueller (CHI).

When the VAR checked the footage, he determined that when Fabian Herbers (CHI) played the ball wide to Mueller, Mueller was onside. The AR had delayed his flag due to the imminent goal-scoring opportunity but then raised it once Kamara had scored, believing Mueller was in an offside position.

The VAR recommended an on-field review for a good goal, and, after Video Review, the referee awarded the goal.

On-field decision: Offside.
Type of review: Goal – no offside.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 1:50.

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


HOU vs LA: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – given


What Happened: Franco Escobar (HOU) challenged Memo Rodríguez (LA) for the ball in the penalty area. There was initial contact between the two players as Rodríguez attempted to shield the ball.

Escobar reached out with his left leg to play the ball and caused Rodríguez to go to ground, and the referee awarded a penalty kick.

The VAR analyzed the available angles, determined that Escobar played the ball in a fair manner, and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee rescinded the penalty and restarted with a dropball to goalkeeper Steve Clark (HOU).

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty – no foul challenge.
Final decision after review: Dropball.
Length of review: 2:12.

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


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


What Happened: Martín Cáceres (LA) challenged Adalberto Carrasquilla (HOU) for the ball in the penalty area. The referee did not identify any offense in real-time and allowed play to continue.

When the VAR checked the footage, he saw that Cáceres (LA) did not play the ball but rather kicked Carrasquilla on the top of the foot and tripped him.

The VAR recommended an on-field review for a penalty kick. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty to Houston Dynamo.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:50.

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


MIA vs DAL: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – given


What Happened: A penalty kick was awarded to Inter Miami after a challenge by José Martínez (DAL) on Jean Mota (MIA).

When the VAR checked the footage, he determined that as Mota had moved to reach the ball in an attempt to cut off Martínez with his left leg, there was some slight contact between the two players. The contact was slight and was not impactful enough to cause Mota to fall.

The VAR recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee rescinded the penalty decision and restarted the game with a dropball to the goalkeeper, Maarten Paes (DAL).

In the APP to this incident, there was also an offside infraction committed by Mota when he came from an offside position to play the ball before the contact with Martinez.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty – no foul challenge.
Final decision after review: Dropball.
Length of review: 4:00.

PRO’s Opinion: The VAR could have reviewed this incident for the lack of foul contact or the offside infraction. This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error arising in an important moment of the game.


NE vs MTL: Review for penalty kick (handball) – given


What Happened: A shot inside the penalty area by Bobby Wood (NE) struck the arm of Gabriele Corbo (MTL), who had turned his body, but had left his arm in the path of the ball. The referee awarded a penalty kick to New England Revolution for a handball offense and issued a yellow card to Corbo for stopping a promising attack.

The VAR analyzed the available angles, believed that the arm was within the player’s silhouette and not away from the body, and recommended an on-field review.

After Video Review, the referee maintained her decision to award a penalty, deeming that the arm had been used to block the shot.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty – no foul challenge.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 3:15.

PRO’s Opinion: This was a subjective handball decision as some see the considerations for no handball with the arm close to the body, the ball coming from a very close distance, and the arm justifiably positioned for the movement of the player.

At the same time, the arm created a barrier for the ball and blocked it from continuing to the goal, and some may consider that it was not naturally positioned. With all decisions of this nature, the referee has the final word.



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