MLS Week #18 June 29-30

Week 18 closed off the month of June and with the World Cup in the semi-final stages we will be moving into a very full calendar of MLS matches, Open Cup and International Friendlies.  
This week there are the answers to the interfering with an opponent /line of vision situations from last week, as well as, a new flag/no flag scenario and another request to add the VAR delay into your game. 


Two situations where we need the VAR delay of the flag.  Both decisions have correctly raised flags as the offside decision in the end is correct. However, both are very tight and we need have a bit more patience and wait for the shot.  
In Toronto, the NYRB forward is put in on goal but the flag comes up immediately and stops play. In Columbus a thru ball puts the attacker on the keeper, the whistle blows which would eliminate the possibility of review if either a goal was scored or a penalty committed. 
We are not asking for a delay like you are seeing at the World Cup, where they are delaying until the ball is cleared or ball leaves the field.  (They have like 3,000 cameras to check offside, we might have one)  We just want enough delay for the shot to be taken.  And you need remember to always make a decision, so if the ball is scored and you are sure it was offside (no doubt) then the flag needs to be raised.


Line of vision is really not the best term to use for determining interfering with an opponent in these two cases.  Line of vision implies that the only consideration is whether the goalkeeper can see the ball, but really a more useful overall consideration would be, does the offside positioned player hinder or prevent the goalkeeper from being able to play the ball?  
When looking at these plays we need to consider these factors:

  • Clear obstructing line of vision
  • Distance the shot is coming from
  • Direction of the shot
  • Distance the attacker is from the goalkeeper
  • Actions of the attacker 

Colorado v Minnesota

Colorado vs Minnesota -  In PROs opinion this is not interfering with an opponent.  The goalkeeper has a line of sight to the ball, the shot is coming from a very short distance and going away from the offside positioned attacker.  Although the attacker is close to the keeper he makes no action towards the ball that might impact the keeper. 

NYRB v Dallas

NY Red Bulls vs Dallas - This is a much more difficult decision than the previous one because the considerations are muddy and not clear cut. (A good reason for why the VAR should not intervene.)  The voting was also pretty well split down the middle. 
There is little doubt that the keeper's ability to play the ball was impacted as you can see a clear late reaction to the shot, but is his line of vision being blocked by the attacker or the defender? Was it the defender's actions and not the attacker that impacted the keeper?
The direction of the shot is away from the attacker and the distance is relatively short, so not real factors that would point towards offside. 
The attacker does not make any action that might impact the keeper other than being in his scope of vision.  There is no attempt to play the ball.

NYRB line of vision.jpeg

So this decision comes down to whether you feel the goalkeeper's vision is being blocked by the attacker, which then delays his reaction and ability to play the ball. 
In the final analysis, and since we feel we have to make a decision, we are going to side with the people that feel it is offside.   This is, of course, after looking at the video many times and analyzing angles, etc.  Something that is unrealistic in live play.  Looking at this best angle available, it does appear that the offside attacker is forcing the keeper to try to look around him.
Both plays are outside the AR's ability to make a decision solely by themselves, as there is no angle for them to see if the line of vision has been impaired.  Instruction on these types of play would be to notify the referee that you have an attacker in offside position and ask if they have the interfering/line of vision part of the puzzle.  In both these situations it would be unlikely that they would and so you must always fall back to benefit of doubt to the attack and not give offside. 

NYRB v DAL - Interfering with an opponent
This is interfering with an opponent, flag up
This is NOT interfering with an opponent, no flag
Not sure, benefit of doubt to the attack, no flag
COL v MN - Interfering with an opponent
This is interfering with an opponent, flag up
This is NOT interfering with an opponent, no flag
Not sure, benefit of doubt to the attack, no flag


A rather innocuous offside decision is our offside question of the week.  Should the flag have been raised in this situation?  Answer next week.

What should you do? - SJ v LA
No Offside - No flag
Offside - Flag


week 17.jpg


There were three very good decision in Week 18.  First off is Kyle Atkins who has NYRB's Bradley Wright Phillips even with the STLO in what would otherwise be a clear case of interfering with an opponent.  Adam Garner and Mike Kampmeinert both have similar situations where the attacker scores from the rebound off the bar.  Garner doesn't raise his flag, Kampmeinert does.  Both correct.




Who had Call of the Week #18?
Kyle Atkins - Toronto v NY Redbulls
Adam Garner - Atlanta v Orlando
Mike Kampmeinert - LAFC v Philadelphia