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The Definitive Angle: MLS Week 28

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

Week 28 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 28.


RBNY vs MIA: Review for penalty kick (handball) – given


What happened: A shot from Omir Fernandez (RBNY) was blocked by the upper arm of David Ruíz (MIA), and the referee awarded a penalty kick to New York Red Bulls for a handball offense and issued a yellow card to Ruíz for stopping a promising attack.

Ruíz had one arm away from his body and one arm tight against his body. The VAR analyzed the available angles and determined the ball struck the arm, which was tight to the body, and Ruíz had not made his body unnaturally bigger.

An on-field review was recommended, and after Video Review, the referee cancelled the penalty and rescinded the yellow card for stopping a promising attack.

On-field decision: Penalty kick and yellow card (SPA).
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: Drop ball and yellow card rescinded.
Length of review: 1:33.

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


ORL vs STL: Review for goal (boundary) – given


What happened: A goal was scored by Rasmus Alm (STL) but disallowed by the on-field officials because the assistant referee had determined that the entire ball had gone over the goal line before Anthony Markanich (STL) had crossed the ball for Alm to score. The referee awarded a goal kick.

The VAR determined that the entire ball had not crossed the goal line, and as the whistle did not blow before the ball was in the goal, he recommended a review to award a goal. After Video Review, the referee awarded a goal.

On-field decision: No goal.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 2:55.

PRO’s opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to reach the correct outcome and award a goal.


ORL vs STL: Review for penalty kick (handball) – not given


What happened: A shot from Rafael Santos (ORL) was blocked by Anthony Markanich (STL) and deflected for a corner.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and determined that the ball struck Markanich’s arm, which was extended away from his body and had created a barrier for the ball. An on-field review was recommended, and after Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick and issued a yellow card for stopping a promising attack.

On-field decision: Corner kick.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty and yellow card (SPA).
Length of review: 2:01.

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


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


What happened: Uri Rosell (LA) and Brian Gutiérrez (CHI) reached for the ball at the same time inside the penalty area, and both players went to ground. Gutiérrez played the ball, and Rosell made a slight contact on the foot of Gutiérrez. The referee did not see the contact as having an impact and allowed play to continue.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and determined that the non-awarding of a penalty kick was a clear and obvious error. An on-field review was recommended, and after Video Review, the referee maintained his original decision of no penalty.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:45.

PRO’s opinion: The two players arrived at the same time and there was no impactful contact by Rosell on Gutiérrez with the foot. The contact with the body was initiated by both players and was simply a ‘coming together’. This did not rise to the level of a clear and obvious error by the referee and a review should not have been recommended.



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