It’s been an ongoing source of intrigue and controversy since FIFA announced a trial run last year. And now, after months of preparation, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is coming to Major League Soccer.
VAR will make its official debut tonight at the 2017 MLS All-Star Game. It will then be in pace this weekend for every fixture in Matchweek 22.
Jeremiah Oshan has a great Q&A for how this might work over at Sounder At Heart, but here are a couple major points you should be aware of.
- Only four types of incidents will be subject to VAR review: goals, red cards, penalties, and mistaken identity.
- There’s a specific procedure regarding play stoppages for VAR review, balancing the need to make correct calls with the need to keep the pace of play going.
- An entire sequence can be subject to review, not just the final play.
- There are no plans to implement goal-line technology in addition to VAR.
- The head official on the pitch still has the final say.
There will almost certainly be some hiccups and mistakes along the way. We’ll probably get used to it eventually, but in the short term, Fire fans should get ready to be occasionally Penso’ed by technology.