Tag Archives: VAR

Josef’s Out, More Miami Rumors, VAR Rant, and the League Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans! We are The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast, and we are excited to talk soccer with you. In this episode, our hosts discuss the impact of Josef Martinez’ injury on Atlanta United’s playoff hopes and the impact that Michael Parkhurst had on Major League Soccer, in the wake of his retirement announcement. They break down the latest rumored signing for expansion club Inter Miami – David Silva, currently of Manchester City – and Nick thinks this signing would put Miami in the playoffs from the start.

Nick then rants about VAR and the misunderstanding and ignorance soccer fans have when it comes to reviewing goals scored and whether a player was offside. Look up the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game for the exact text, or just remember that a player either is or is not offside … there’s no subjectivity to it! That’s why clear and obvious error is the wrong standard when reviewing such a play.

Finally, Mike keeps things rolling with the league roundup – a look at every game from last week around the MLS and what impact they have on the playoff picture. Hint: not much impact as there are still half the playoff spots up for grabs. Only LAFC has clinched in the Western Conference, but only one spot remains in the Eastern Conference. Tune in to hear who has the best chance at getting in, and which team is a cup contender.

Be sure to follow along on social media for all our content.


The Controversial PK in LAFC vs. SKC: Interpreting the Rules



This discussion comes about as a result of a play in the Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City game of August 11, 2018. In the 66th minute of the game, the referee awarded SKC a penalty kick as a result of a foul in the box. On the play, LAFC’s goalkeeper blocks the initial shot, resulting in a bouncing ball about 6 yards from the box. The ball is about chest high, and Felipe Gutierrez of SKC attempts a diving header. At the same time, LAFC defender Dejan Jokovic attempts to clear the ball, but also kicks Gutierrez in the head. The debate our hosts had on twitter centered around whether the defender played the ball first and if that actually matters. To help explain the call on the field, we must first turn to the rules.

The game of soccer is governed by the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game, and this article will use the 2018-2019 version. Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct applies to this case. Article 1: Direct free kick, states the following relevant parts:
Continue reading The Controversial PK in LAFC vs. SKC: Interpreting the Rules


Ep. 22 – MLS Week 20 Recap: Trends, Officiating, and the Portland Timbers



The new show format continues! More content, more discussion, more analysis … and more mispronouncing of player names.

The hosts recap the results from Week 20 of Major League Soccer, where Columbus and Kansas City keep losing, the Red Bulls beat another good team, and D.C. United unveil their new stadium and new hit signing, Wayne Rooney. RSL Coach Petke goes on another rant, but the hosts think he’s justified and makes some good points about the referees in the league.

Speaking of officiating…
Nick and Mike also attempt to solve the officiating crisis, offer some advice to PRO Referees, and break down their interpretation of “what is a hand ball?” Nick explains why the Portland Timbers are a legitimate contender for the MLS Cup – they just signed another young Argentine! He also gets worried about Atlanta United after their recent slide (.500 over last 5 games), but Mike reassures him that the Five Stripes are still the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and the MLS Cup (and maybe even the Supporters’ Shield).

 

Mike, such a good co-host, calming things down, keeping Nick grounded.


Ep 11 – A Review of Video Assistant Referee (VAR)



… but who watches the watchmen?

Nick and Mike provide a summary of MLS rules governing Video Assistant Referee (VAR), and share their thoughts on its role, effectiveness, and how it could possibly change the game of soccer. Throughout the piece, Nick compares MLS’ VAR policies to those of other professional American sports, specifically the NFL and MLB. The hosts discuss the potential impact of video review on the World Cup and how its performance could impact VAR’s future. Finally, Mike shares a list of his Best Five and Worst Five head referees (please excuse the Toronto FC biases), highlighting officiating errors which may have influenced the introduction of VAR in the league.

 

The guys also try to make a couple lawyer jokes. (Emphasis on the word “try.”)


Ep 10 – MLS Week 12 Recap



All the Major League Soccer (MLS) action from Week 12 in one convenient podcast. In the Eastern Conference, the hosts discuss whether other teams will copy the Red Bulls tactics against Atlanta United, Toronto FC get back to their winning ways, and Columbus wins again. Out West, Minnesota United might be building some momentum, Portland Timbers play a great game against LAFC, and the LA Galaxy finally win … without Zlatan!

 

Also, the hosts discuss the pros and cons of DC United signing English striker Wayne Rooney, and Mike introduces you to a host of players who scored, but that you might not recognize.


Episode 8 – MLS Week 11 Recap



The hosts recap and analyze of all the MLS Week 11 games. Mid-week play has started, and there was a ton of action. SKC vs. Atlanta and LAFC vs. NYCFC highlighted potential MLS Cup Finals. Toronto FC hosted Seattle in a re-re-match of the last two MLS Cups. Be sure to listen to find out the results from the weekend, as well as commentary on TFC’s struggles, Columbus’ resurgence, and Real Salt Lake’s playoff chances. Also, do the LA Galaxy keep losing?

 

Yes, yes they do. (And Mike predicted it!)


Episode 5 – Week 9 MLS Roundup



With lots of action around the MLS, Nick and Mike look back at the big moments from each game. Their discussion highlights the impact of VAR, how Toronto faired coming off their loss in the CCL final, and whether Orlando City is a real contender. Please leave a comment, or reach out via email, and let us know your thoughts.

 

Also, Mike’s disdain for David Villa continues to grow.