There were several errors in the Colorado Rapids and the Real Salt Lake match. Unfortunatley they all went against the Rapids and all happened to involve Video Assistance Referee decisions.
Video Assistance Review, also known as VAR, in Major League Soccer was supposed to get ride of the controversy surrounding the calls. However, the way it was implemented has not worked out that way with referees going to look at video reviews too often.
The perfect example of it was last week when Ted Unkel used VAR to overturn a goal when he got in the way of a player saying their was a foul when there wasn’t. That play should never have gone to VAR, even the referee organization said so.
The first use of VAR was when Seb Anderson and Saucedo were fighting for the ball in the box and both went down. This was not a foul and should never have gone to VAR. The referee saw it well and it was just two players side by side going for the ball and both going down in the box.
The first rule of VAR is that is correct a clear and obvious error. For me, it was not a clear or obvious error. As previously stated, it was two players coming together. It should never have gone to VAR and if so, the call on the field should have been upheld.
The second clear error was the rescinding of the Glad red card. Glad launches himself with one leg extended and studs up onto Jonathan Lewis. The referee gave a red card orginally but in the review he went to VAR. After reviewing it, he overturned it and changed the call to a yellow card.
For me, this was a major error. One on VAR. This was not a clear and obvious error on the referees part. Second, By leaving the ground launching himself at Lewis, Glad is causing a dangerous play on Lewis. He could have easily have broken a leg. It does not matter that he hit the ball first. It was a dangerous play.
The VAR of handling by Besler should have been reviewed. It goes to the point that we do not really know what handling at this time. There are too many ambiguities. This call the ball is deflecting around the box but Besler’s arm is extended perpindicular from his body. It is close. That said, people then saying if that was reviewed they would have to look at Mezquida’s handling the ball after that. That is not true. If Besler handles the ball, it negates the ball going off Mezquida’s.
The offsides call on Abubakar was tight but probably correct. That said, if you watch the replays, I couldn’t share it here, the AR was not inline with the play. He was several yards behind and would not be able to see if he was truly offsides or not.
VAR needs to be improved and quickly in MLS. Why the first ones to use it, it was implemented much better and more consistently in the World Cup in Russia than it is in MLS. Something needs to change to make it more consistent.