We had three offside decisions overturned by VAR this week, which is good in the sense that VAR worked as it should, but poor that VAR had to be used. We also had an incident in Chicago that demonstrates why the decision on the field is so important, and that we get it right, even more so. Position and movement were key factors in all these decisions.
On a positive note, we have a rookie vs veteran battle for Call of the Week.
TROUBLE IN PORTLAND
Two incorrect offside decisions, both corrected by VAR. (Silver lining: there was one for each team.)
Both offside decisions are back to back on this clip and in the first one it is simply a matter of not having enough sprint to be in the right position. ARs should anticipate this play and be moving on the pass. The second offside is about the AR not being square to the field to judge the position of Portland's Adi. There is also a bit of a stutter in the play when the ball bounces off the shin on the attacker.
A defender deliberately plays the ball and then an attacker is called offside. The defender cuts in front of another attacker and it can appear as if the attacker had played it. However, clearly he didn't and the referee and the AR do not communicate.
We need to make changes so this does not happen again.
First, pre-game must include a conversation with the referee to give help in these situations. This conversation will include when to say "defender, defender, defender", which is whenever a defender plays the ball in a 50/50 situation, a defender plays a ball out of a crowd or a defender plays a ball in a similar direction as an attacker.
Second, ask for help in these situations. We are not in a rush for the flag. If you are unsure in any way, ask - "who played it".
Third, let's eliminate this error for the rest of the season with a heightened level of concentration.
NOT CLEAR AND OBVIOUS IN CHICAGO
Two goals by Los Angeles Galaxy both denied for offside. Were they both correct, yes, sort of. You will have to decide on clip #1 "Offside" whether you think it is correct. It is one of those situations where we prefer giving benefit of doubt to the attack and VAR cannot get involved in this decision as the position of LAG's Kamara is not clear and obviously offside. However, we think that if the AR had been in correct position the flag would not have been raised. If you look at the third clip (Movement and Position), you will see the AR slip in his movement, however there is ample time for him to recover if there was more sense of urgency. Additionally, we have emphasized not turning the body upfield when there are attackers in the penalty area. This movement leaves the AR unprepared to get quickly into the next position.
On the second clip, there is a bit of confusion as we have a situation of interfering with an opponent. The attacker is in an offside position and makes a clear action that impacts the defender who inadvertently scores an own goal. All these pieces are visible to the AR, more so than the referee and so a flag would be expected. Whether the attacker touches the ball or not is irrelevant as the interfering with the opponent is clear.
ANSWER - WHAT SHOULD YOU DO - REAL SALT LAKE V VANCOUVER
In PRO's opinion this is not offside. The attacker in offside position does not interfere with an opponent.
He does not make an attempt to play the ball, his actions do not impact any of the defenders.
This was actually a pretty easy one.
WINNER - CALL OF THE WEEK #6 - BRIAN POESCHEL
CALL OF THE WEEK #7
This week's Call of the Week features a rookie vs a veteran. Who do you want to give it to? Peter Manikowski at Red Bull Arena deals with a crowded goal area to see that the goalscorer was not in offside position or Jeremy Kieso who does well to keep the flag down on Dom Dwyer's well timed run.