Major League Soccer announced on Monday that the league will be working with the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and the United Soccer League (USL) on live in-game Video Assistant Referee (VAR) testing in 25 matches during the 2017 USL season which kicks off on Saturday, March 25 (full schedule follows below).


The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) initiative consists of an additional referee positioned in a booth with video technology that allows access to every available broadcast camera angle at a finger's touch. A communication system allows the VAR in the booth to alert and advise the head referee of clear errors in four types of game-changing situations: goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and cases of mistaken identity.


MLS has been at the forefront of VAR testing in conjunction with the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the world body that oversees the Laws of the Game of soccer. MLS and USL partnered to host the world's first competitive matches featuring in-game VAR testing in August 2016 and that was followed by the first MLS exhibition matches featuring live VAR experiments during the 2017 preseason. 


The 2017 MLS season will see the league run offline testing (no impact on matches and no direct communication with referees) at all 22 venues through the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, after which the league hopes to formally incorporate VARs in select official MLS matches.

Date/Time
Match/Venue
Watch
March 25<br> 5:00 PM ET
<strong>Richmond Kickers vs. Harrisburg City Islanders</strong><br> City Stadium
March 29<br> 8:30 PM ET
<strong>Swope Park Rangers vs. Portland Timbers 2</strong><br> Swope Soccer Village
April 25<br> 10:30 PM ET
<strong>Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. San Antonio FC</strong><br> Starfire Stadium
May 3<br> 7:00 PM ET
<strong>Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Toronto FC II</strong><br> Highmark Stadium
ESPN3
May 10<br> 2:00 PM ET
<strong>Portland Timbers 2 vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC</strong><br> Providence Park
May 14<br> 9:00 PM ET
<strong>NY Red Bulls II vs. LA Galaxy 2</strong><br> Red Bull Arena
May 24<br> 7:00 PM ET
<strong>Rochester Rhinos vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies</strong><br> Capelli Sport Stadium
ESPN3
May 24<br> 12:00 PM ET
<strong>Toronto FC II vs. Richmond Kickers</strong><br> Ontario Soccer Centre
May 25<br> 11:00 AM ET
<strong>Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Charleston Battery</strong><br> Goodman Stadium
June 2<br> 8:30 PM ET
<strong>Saint Louis FC vs. Toronto FC II</strong><br> World Wide Technology Soccer Park
June 6<br> 8:30 PM ET
<strong>OKC Energy FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC</strong><br> Taft Stadium
June 7<br> 7:30 PM ET
<strong>Orlando City B vs. Rochester Rhinos</strong><br> Orlando City Stadium
ESPN3
June 7<br> 7:30 PM ET
<strong>Louisville City FC vs. Charlotte Independence</strong><br> Louisville Slugger Stadium
June 20<br> 10:30 AM ET
<strong>Ottawa Fury FC vs. Orlando City B</strong><br> TD Place
June 21<br> 11:00 PM ET
<strong>Sacramento Republic FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC</strong><br> Bonney Field
ESPN3
June 30<br> 10:30 PM ET
<strong>LA Galaxy 2 vs. Swope Park Rangers</strong><br> StubHub Center
July 3<br> 10:30 PM ET
<strong>Reno 1868 FC vs. LA Galaxy 2</strong><br> Greater Nevada Field
July 6<br> 8:00 PM ET
<strong>Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Cincinnati</strong><br> Al Lang Stadium
ESPNU
July 8<br> 7:00 PM ET
<strong>Charleston Battery vs. Louisville City FC</strong><br> MUSC Health Stadium
July 8<br> 9:00 PM ET
<strong>Real Monarchs SLC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2</strong><br> Rio Tinto Stadium
July 12<br> 3:00 PM ET
<strong>Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Swope Park Rangers</strong><br> Mcleod Athletic Park
July 14<br> 9:00 PM ET
<strong>San Antonio FC vs. OKC Energy FC</strong><br> Toyota Field
ESPNU
July 19<br> 8:00 PM ET
<strong>Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Orange County SC</strong><br> H-E-B Park
ESPN3
July 26<br> 7:00 PM ET
<strong>FC Cincinnati vs. Harrisburg City Islanders</strong><br> Nippert Stadium
ESPN3
July 26<br> 7:00 PM ET
<strong>Charlotte Independence vs. Richmond Kickers</strong><br> Sportsplex at Matthews