MLS and USL partner to conduct 25 live Video Assistant Referee experiments

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

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