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FeaturedThe Definitive Angle

The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 27

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

Week 27 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 27.


STL vs ATX: Review for mistaken identity (yellow card)


What happened: The referee awarded a direct free kick to St Louis CITY after he adjudged that Julio Cascante (ATX) had tripped Nicholas Gioacchini (STL) while chasing a through ball. He cautioned Cascante for stopping a promising attack.

The VAR determined that the referee had mistakenly identified the wrong player who committed the foul. The VAR recommended a review to rescind the yellow card and award a direct free kick to Austin FC.

On-field decision: Yellow card (stopping a promising attack).
Type of review: Mistaken identity.
Final decision after review: Yellow card rescinded and direct free kick to Austin FC.
Length of review: 2:00.

PRO’s opinion: The VAR was incorrect to recommend this review because it is outside of the VAR protocol. While the initial decision was incorrect, mistaken identity can only apply to players from the same team.


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


What happened: Julián Fernández (NYC) went to ground inside the penalty area after a challenge by Miguel Tapias (MIN). The referee awarded a penalty kick for a tripping offense.

The VAR saw that while Tapias reached for the ball, there was no contact between himself and Fernández. An on-field review was recommended, and after Video Review, the referee rescinded the penalty kick and restarted with a drop ball.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty kick.
Final decision after review: No penalty – drop ball.
Length of review: 2:45.

PRO’s opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error. However, rather than restart with a drop ball, the referee should have awarded an indirect free kick to Minnesota United and issued a yellow card to Fernández for simulation.


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


What happened: A goal was scored by Georgios Koutsias (CHI) and awarded by the on-field officials.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and saw that when the ball was passed to Koutsias by Brian Gutiérrez (CHI), he was slightly ahead of the ball and the second-to-last opponent. An on-field review was recommended, and the goal rescinded. Play restarted with an indirect free kick.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – offside.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 2:15.

PRO’s opinion: The situation occurred almost directly in line with the camera, making the offside position clear and obvious for the VAR. This was a good use of the Video Review system to disallow a goal for offside.


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


What happened: Griffin Dorsey (HOU) had control of the ball in the penalty area when he was challenged from behind by Claudio Bravo (POR). Bravo made contact on the side of the boot of Dorsey using his studs and tripped him. The referee did not see the contact with the studs and allowed play to continue.

The VAR determined that the contact to the foot of Dorsey was a foul and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick.

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 very good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.



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