Complaining about how and when VAR is used has become a favorite past time of MLS coaches. Never before, though, has one broken out his phone to show reporters a photo during a postgame press conference. Well, not until Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney did it on Wednesday following a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders.
That phone on the podium on in front of Vanney at his post-game presser? That’s a screenshot of Seattle’s second goal. Vanney at a loss at the fact that it wasn’t called back by VAR for offside. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/yukt1GKYBC— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) May 10, 2018
In Vanney’s defense, he has a point. It does look like Handwalla Bwana was probably offside on his game-winning goal.
Was @handwalla offside in @SoundersFC's 2nd goal vs @torontofc? Yes, I would say that he is, by about a foot.— SoccerPhotogrammetry (@OffsideModeling) May 10, 2018
Bear in mind, however, that there is a LOT of distortion in this photo, but I don't see how he was actually onside. pic.twitter.com/ay6Jc8PbVl
But that’s also very close and at full-speed, it’s virtually impossible to see. Should VAR have overturned it? Maybe. But that also gets at VAR’s directive, to only correct “clear and obvious” mistakes. On a bang, bang play like this, I’m not sure it passes that standard.
It should also be said that Vanney’s team benefitted from a far more important non-VAR decision in last year’s MLS Cup final.
So that @JozyAltidore goal? That new angle from @TaylorTwellman that VAR used?— SoccerPhotogrammetry (@OffsideModeling) December 11, 2017
Ultimately I came up with a very similar number after incorporating it (and playing with the rest of the model a bit) Somewhere about 1 foot this time, maybe a bit less. pic.twitter.com/VNlL7crdSg
Interestingly enough, I don’t remember Brian Schmetzer busting out his phone with this image at his press conference last December...