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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 three Video Reviews during Week 21.

RSL vs MIN: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – given

What Happened: DJ Taylor (MIN) challenged Bode Hidalgo (RSL) for the ball as the Real Salt Lake attacker entered the penalty area.

Initially, the two players were side by side, but Hidalgo got in front of Taylor. The Minnesota United defender had both hands on the body of Hidalgo when both players were outside the penalty area and released as they entered. Hidalgo went to ground inside the penalty area, and the referee awarded a penalty kick for a pushing offense.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and saw no extension of the arms. He also identified that the hands on the body were open and there was no holding offense and recommended an on-field review.

After Video Review, the referee rescinded the penalty kick and restarted play with a drop ball.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: Drop ball.
Length of review: 3:30.

PRO’s Opinion: This was not a penalty offense. There was no holding and no clear pushing offense. There was some contact with the leg of Taylor on the foot of Hidalgo, which occurred outside the penalty area, but this was slight. The referee was correct to rescind the penalty kick; however, a direct free kick restart would have been appropriate.

RSL vs MIN: Review for goal (offside) – not given

What Happened: A goal was scored by Pablo Ruiz (RSL) and awarded by the on-field officials. The assistant referee identified two Real Salt Lake players were in an offside position but did not know if there was an impact on the goalkeeper and kept his flag down.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and determined that Danny Musovski (RSL) and Anderson Julio (RSL), who was standing in a direct line between goalkeeper Clint Irwin (MIN) and the ball, were both in an offside position. The VAR identified that Julio was in the direct line of sight of Irwin, who was attempting to see the ball by trying to look around him. He recommended an on-field review.

After Video Review, the referee disallowed the goal and restarted play with an indirect free kick.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: Indirect free kick.
Length of review: 2:55.

PRO’s Opinion: The position of Julio was in the line of vision of the goalkeeper and impacted his ability to attempt to play the ball. This was offside, interfering with an opponent.

SJ vs STL: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – not given

What Happened: Jonathan Mensah (SJ) charged Aziel Jackson (STL) in the back and forced him to ground. The foul occurred close to the penalty area line, and Jackson fell forward and landed outside the penalty area. The referee awarded a direct free kick to St Louis CITY.

The VAR analyzed the available angles, determined that the contact clearly occurred inside the penalty area, and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick.

On-field decision: Direct free kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 1:10.

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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