Major League Soccer or simply MLS is a a funny, weird and downright chaotic league.
One minute you are in awe of a player scoring an absolute banger or nutmegging multiple players. The next you are laughing at some poor defending or goalkeeping.
If you are a fan of MLS (which I assume you are since you are reading this article) you know the league envokes one thing: chaos. In MLS, chaos reigns supreme.
But there are so many problems with MLS. We’ve gone over them: turf, the salary rules, the playoff format and more.
In my humble opinion, MLS provides entertaining soccer, well, most of the time. MLS is like that one friend: He or she is so unpredictable. One minute they are quiet and the next they are having a chaotic night on the town making poor decisions. Not the best analogy but I hope you get it.
But there is one thing that frustrates MLS fans and is another reason why many soccer fans around the world won’t take the league seriously. It’s the lack of goal-line technology.
On Saturday, during the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake in Sandy Utah, it looked like Brian White tied the game in the second half.
But Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath just shaved it off the goal line. (Yes, the Whitecaps should have got a penalty kick as Tristan Blackmon was body-checked hockey-style into the post but I guess the people operating VAR were playing solitaire.)
Everyone watching the replay was squinting like Chang at a tiny piece of paper, it looked tight. But the angle shown from behind McMath showed the ball did not cross the line fully.
We’ve seen chances through the years in MLS that could’ve used goal-line technology. Most recently, it looked like Austin FC’s Emiliano Rigoni scored against the Seattle Sounders in a game that happened on August 30. VAR didn’t check this.
Now the parallax effect might have come into effect here but with goal-line technology, there would have been a better look.
Soccer like any sport, is a game of inches. Inches could determine whether or not a goal counts or not. There are so many angles but no overhead goal line angles. If the MLS
Is goal line technology possible for MLS?
MLS commissioner Don Garber spoke about goal-line technology back in 2013. He said MLS would not adapt goal-line technology for the 2014 season. Why? That was because of the cost.
It was estimated that it would cost $260,000 US to install and $3900 US per game to use.
“It had us take a step back and pause and try to figure out is the value of having goal-line technology worth investing millions and millions and millions of dollars for the handful of moments where it’s relevant?” said Garber per CBC. “Our view has been that we’re going to wait and see how it works out. We certainly don’t need to be the first league that has it.”
A decade later MLS is growing. According to Forbes, the average MLS club’s value is 579 million dollars. According to Zippia.com, the MLS annual average revenue is 210 million dollars. So they have the pockets for goal-line technology.
A brief history of goal-line technology and its flaws
The Hawk Eye system is used by leagues such as the English Premier League, the Bundesliga and Serie A. That was the first system for goal-line technology and it was first used at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
Goal line technology was then used at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Premier League was the first domestic league to use it in the 2013-14 season. The UEFA Champions League started using it in 2016.
But goal-line technology has its flaws. As mentioned, it is expensive and La Liga is still the only major European league not using it because of the cost.
There are times when the system fails. For example, during a game in the French Cup in 2018, PSG’s Adrien Rabiot’s header crossed the line but the goal-line technology did not call it a goal. However, the referee went to VAR and the goal was overturned.
In June of 2020, Aston Villa goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland mishandled a free kick from Oliver Norwood and carried the ball over the line. The goal line technology failed to award a goal but they did not go to VAR.
Why MLS needs goal line technology
Yes, goal-line technology has its flaws and it costs a lot. But MLS needs it.
As mentioned, it is hard to take MLS seriously as a top league without it. They can’t have fans left in the dark on whether or not the goal crossed the line fully.
If MLS wants to be a top league, they should implement goal-line technology.