This week we highlight movement, as we know that being in the right position leads to correct calls. We also give the answer, deflection or deliberate, in Atlanta v Sporting Kansas City after scouring the world of FIFA for the right answer. An interesting play from a corner kick, offside? You decide. Our Call of the Week choices feature two "benefit of doubt to the attack" decisions, whose was best.
Oh, and we have added Perception Test #17 for your pre-match prep.
MOVEMENT AND STAYING LEVEL WITH THE BALL
In Colorado v NY Red Bull there was a very close offside decision where the flag was raised that was reversed using Video Review. This decision was too close to be called a clear and obvious error and video review should not have been used. The image here shows how close it was, the line drawn is not perfectly accurate but close enough to show just how tight the decision was. PRO prefers that the flag not be raised in situations this close, but that is not our purpose here. As you can also see in the image, the AR is even with the second to last defender, which would be the right spot in most cases. On this play he needs to be even with the ball and if he was, we doubt that he would have raised his flag.
Advise here would be a quicker turn and sprint when a thru ball gets past the second to last opponent. Anticipating that the most likely next play will be a cross, the AR should do all possible to get even with the ball as the STLO has already been beaten and is no longer a factor in the imminent offside decision. Additionally, watching the play develop, the AR should be able to spot the only attacker that could receive the ball in the center of the penalty area and judge his position. Also, most attackers at the professional level will know to keep themselves behind the ball as they make this type of run.
Anticipation, speed and reading the game, all part of being in the right position.
SQUARE TO THE FIELD
When discussing the VAR delay we are talking about situations where the shot or goal scoring opportunity is imminent. On this offside decision at midfield (right or wrong) the flag is delayed way too long. No other attacker is involved and we would rather stop this play as normally done. There is too much distance and time that make using the VAR delay unwise. But then again, if you have doubt on whether the player was offside in the first place then the flag should never go up anyways.
ANSWER - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Atlanta v Sporting KC
In PRO's opinion this is a deflection and it was correct for the goal to be overturned by video review. We sent this play around the world to get FIFA's and other top AR's opinion. The consensus leaned towards deflection, however there were different views.
The defender is reacting to a quick ball that is coming towards him and is off balance when he makes contact. The movement of the leg towards the ball is an instinct reaction, but not a deliberate play as there is no time and space to make a play. This would be somewhat similar to the way a defender would react on a cross where they deliberately try to block the ball.
Even if you do not agree with this analysis it is important that you use these considerations when making the decision. We have included them here for you to use in your next match.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? REAL SALT LAKE V COLORADO
Is there an offside infraction on this incident?
Winner - Call of the Week #10 - Adam Garner
CALL OF THE WEEK #11
Call of the Week features two calls that are simply too close to call. They look even, but can you really tell? It is the kind of call we categorize as giving benefit of doubt to the attack. Who did it better? Gianni Facchini in Toronto or Ian Anderson in Columbus.