The first usage of video replay in a domestic competitive pro game took place Friday night at Red Bull Arena, the same venue where a test run was held using youth teams earlier this month.
Allen Chapman served as Video Assistant Referee during a Red Bulls
II-Orlando City B match officiated by Ismail Elfath.
The pair were communicating throughout the match to discuss situations and incidents. Elfath chose to use the replay system twice and both incidents were quickly reviewed. Representatives from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) were in attendance to observe the test, which went smoothly.
“Everyone was very pleased with the process, including IFAB,” said USL operations senior director Brett Luy, who was also present. “We all felt it accomplished its intended purpose -- to correct match-changing incidents.”
The first review involved a foul by Orlando City defender Conor Donovan on Red Bulls II forward Junior Flemmings that was committed near the edge of the penalty area. Elfath initially ruled the foul occurred outside the penalty area but after a review of just 24 seconds, he changed his decision to a penalty kick and issued a red card to Donovan for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
Elfath also reviewed a foul by Kyle McFadden of Orlando City on Florian Valot to determine its severity. The review took less than a minute and resulted in Elfath cautioning McFadden.
Elfath whistled a penalty kick when Orlando City defender Antonio Matarazzo handled the ball while sliding to block it but elected not to review it.
“Overall, I think it went pretty well,” said Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec, who might have been somewhat biased. His team won, 5-1.
“Obviously, there was a change in the calls," he added, "but I don’t think it slowed the game down in too many respects."