After a long wait the MLS season has finally started which means two things for me, watching the Revs and watching the Refs. This week was a great week for PRO Referees and a great week for some controversial calls, lets talk about a few. All Videos will be used via youtube below credit to Major League Soccer)
The Match: Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution
The Referee: Fotis Bazakos
The Play: The 92 minute of a 2-2 match and Przemysław Frankowski is 1v1 against Revs defender Dejuan Jones, Frankowski gets in behind Jones and contact is made just outside the box. Referee Bazakos blows the whistle and issues a Red Card for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO). VAR was used for the spot of the foul only and not utilized for DOGSO.
My thoughts: Bazakos made the correct call on the play however the positioning of Revs central defender Andrew Farrell made this tough for me to see DOGSO, Farrel stayed behind the play centrally on Fire danger man Robert Berić, but as seen in the play and photo below, Farrel started to slide over towards Frankowski after Jones was beat. In my opinion making him the last defender and not qualifying for DOGSO.
The Match: Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy
The Referee: Chris Penso (WELCOME BACK)
The Play: In the 66th minute Inter Miami attacker Rodolfo Pizarro is at the top of the 18 yard box and has a neat touch through the legs of Galaxy defender Jorge Villafaña. As the touch goes past Villafaña, Pizarro makes contact and goes to the ground inside the box. Referee Penso points to the spot and calls a penalty.
My Thoughts: First glance, penalty all day long, however as discussed on the MLS Now Podcast I think that Rodolfo Pizarro made contact first and as soon as he felt contact went to the ground. In my opinion this one could have gone either way but, with the attacker attempting to get a penalty but making contact first to me its a play on with no call. Look at the play in the link at the bottom and let me know your thoughts @ggomes1113.
The Match: FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids
The Referee: Nima Saghafi
The Play: In the 36th minute of a 0-0 match ball is on the outside of the field sent into the center of the box close to the top of the 6 yard area to FC Dallas attacker Franco Jara, as the ball comes in it appears that Jara is behind Rapids defender Danny Wilson, Wilson then makes contact with Jara and the ball goes through defenders with no call and no VAR used.
My thoughts: When Jara gets behind Wilson it was clear to me that Wilson used both hands to grab the shoulders of Jara making it impossible fr him to even come close to the ball that was sent in. I have been asked a few times if DOGSO would apply here and the answer is no, the reason being is it would be tough to tell with the position of other defenders if Jara would get to the ball and he does not have possession of the ball when he is brought down. However I do think this was a clear cut penalty and FC Dallas was done wrong here.
The Match: Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union
The Referee: Ramy Touchan
The Play: In the 37th minute a ball come over the top of the Union defense to Crew midfielder Pedro Santos in the area close to the 18 yard box, Pedro touched the ball wide with his head and is brought down by Union defender Jakob Glesnes with contact made in the center of the back area. Penalty was called by Referee Touchan. VAR reviewed the play and spotted the foul just outside the area and a yellow card issued to Glesnes.
My thoughts: This was a great use of VAR and even better teamwork from the entire referee crew. VAR saw clear and convincing evidence that the foul was outside the box and made the absolute correct call. I was asked again about the theme of the week... DOGSO. To me the location of other defenders and the touch from Santos being wide would have given enough time for Union defenders to recover and making DOGSO very hard for me to issue a Red card.
Let me know your thoughts on twitter @ggomes1113 I look forward to doing this again next week!! See the video from MLS Instant Replay!