Anyone who isn’t on board with video replay might want to start getting used to the idea soon. The new technology is coming fast to all corners of the globe and we got a pretty good peek at what it’ll look like this weekend.
Stateside, MLS is aiming to be one of the earliest adopters and hopes to fully implement it this season. But for now, the league is using preseason to test the technology out, where it helped on a recent decision.
In a preseason friendly between the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake, a referee exited the pitch and watched replays on a video monitor to confirm a penalty kick he awarded. Take a look:
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Different ideas have been proposed for how video replay should be done. FIFA has proposed what we see here: the referee watching replays himself on a monitor or tablet on the sideline. That may be what we see going forward, but in earlier trials, MLS had a remote referee who would review video replays and then communicate his or her findings to the referee on the field via headset.
MLS still has more trials to do before video replays will be used in competition, but commissioner Don Garber has said he wants to see video replay used in official live matches for the second half of the 2017 season. That would put MLS among the earliest adopters of the technology, which will be only used for so-called game-changing decisions: goals, red cards and penalty kicks. The trials will be “live” during preseason but “offline” once the season starts.
Just last week, La Liga said they are planning to add video replay in 2018, a move that is partially due to their reluctance to pay for goal-line technology. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he would like to see video replay used in the 2018 World Cup as well.
MLS may be among the earlier leagues to add video replay, but it’ll be everywhere before you know it.