History: Red Bulls II help pioneer Video Assisted Refereeing

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Major League Soccer’s recent admission to errors in officiating during the weekend’s Red Bulls, Galaxy clash may be part of a larger initiative.

After both the MLS and USL received approval, Friday’s New York Red Bull II game will be a history making affair as Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR) will be tested in the live game against Orlando City B.

USL has collaborated with MLS in an attempt to further the use of video technology in games. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will oversee the trial during the game in what is the most significant visible progression in video refereeing we’ve seen to date.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of what is a historic moment for our sport,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “The use of the VAR system will help referees makes sure that clear and obvious errors are omitted from the game, boosting the integrity of the sport in the future.”

The IFAB held a video referee session at Red Bull Arena last month, forcing New York Red Bull II’s game against the Charleston Battery to Red Bull’s training facility in order to accommodate.

“During the last workshop, we received significant feedback from the participating competition organizers from across the world,” IFAB Secretary Lukas Brud said in a statement. “We believe that these additional tests will enable us to refine the experiment protocols and implementation procedures which are key to the success of the forthcoming trials.”

Four other Red Bulls II matches will feature VAR technology, including their matches on Aug. 19 (vs. Louisville), Aug. 28 (vs. FC Cincinnati), Sept. 7 (vs. Harrisburg City Islanders) and Sept. 17 (vs. FC Montreal).

There is no word yet if any decisions will be made based on the VAR during this game or to what level the system will be implemented.

  • Bringing in video reply would stop the flow of the game. This is not the NFL or NBA were the game stops every 5 seconds, stop Americanizing the game, next MLS will bring back the 35 yd shoot out line to decide ties. What would be more beneficial is to bring out the referee crew to the media and have an open discussion, something no other league in the world does. In the order of things give them 10 minutes after the match to breath and then bring them in before the team press conferences. This would make for interesting television and hold referees accountable on their decisions, we always want to question the manager on their decision, i don’t understand why not the referee or the assist Referee. You could ask the Assist why he didn’t make the call if it’s in the pk area, that’s part of his/her job to assist the CR in the match.