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What we learned: VAR doesn’t like Maxi Urruti

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33% of all MLS video reviews have cost Maxi Urruti a goal.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

From VAR to an FC Dallas attack that couldn’t finish to a rain delay before the last 10 minutes of play, Saturday was a frustrating game for FC Dallas fans. It may have been frustrating, but the game had more to it than just frustration and a lack of production by FC Dallas.

More is learned about VAR.

The biggest story line from Saturday’s game was the VAR decision. It was a frustrating call, but one we’ll have to accept in the end. Live, it didn’t seem like Atiba Haris’ foul occurred in the attacking phase of play, but looking back at the replays and definitions of ‘attacking phase of play,’ it actually was. Here is the definition according to mlssoccer.com:

“The Attacking Phase of Play (APP) is the phase of play as determined by the head referee when a team starts the attacking move toward the opposition's penalty area leading up to a match-changing incident: a goal, a penalty kick decision or a red card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO). The attacking phase of play may be reviewed for potential infractions that could negate a match-changing incident in the Video Review protocol.

The attacking phase of play may include the specific moment when the attacking team gains possession, but it never includes the restart or set piece which begins an attack.”

Another frustrating part was that it seemed that the foul was not ‘clear and obvious’ as it is supposed to be to get a review decision, but, like with the attacking phase of play in this instance, it was a clear and obvious call on replay. If Atiba Harris had touched the ball, it could’ve been a murky area and the call might not have happened because it was not clear and obvious, but as it turns out, Harris clearly did foul Dominique Badji from behind without hitting the ball.

Yet another complaint about this call by Alan Kelly was that the review took too long. This may be true and a real problem for the league to fix in future cases. It took almost a full four minutes from the moment Urruti’s shot hit the back of the net to the moment the Colorado Rapids took their resulting free kick from the call.

There can be arguments about video review and if it should be allowed to call this goal back, but it is unfair to criticize the referee in this instance, as he did as he was taught to do by the league.

VAR hates FC Dallas and Maxi Urruti.

Since VAR was announced, FC Dallas has been on the wrong end of the drama four times, once in each of their last four games: two before VAR was implemented, and two after. First was Colman’s goal that crossed the line but wasn’t called, second was Acosta’s “penalty foul,” and then with VAR, two Urruti goals have been called back. They were correctly so, but might still have been awarded as goals before VAR. There have been six total video reviews and two of them have taken back Urruti goals, so that means 33% of video reviews have occurred to take away Urruti’s goals, and none (neither) of them was because of an infraction by Maxi.

Colman has good hold-up play in him.

Cristian Colman had himself a decent game on Saturday. He showed good hold-up play all night, the best example being his would-be assist to Urruti on the goal that was called back.

Akindele is in a hole.

Tesho Akindele has had a bad run of form lately, and he had some more bad touches in his substitute appearance against Colorado. He came in as a winger for Roland Lamah, and with Luis ‘Cariaco’ Gonzalez coming in and likely being a rotational winger, it doesn’t look like Akindele has a viable path at becoming a starting winger or forward this season, and his super-sub role looks like it is slipping, too.