A Louisville City FC game that next week could determine first place in the USL’s Eastern Conference will feature a live Video Assistant Referee trial as part of a collaboration with Major League Soccer and the International Football Association Board.
New York Red Bulls II’s final five home games, including an Aug. 19 meeting with LouCity, will feature the new addition after a successful, closed-door test of it at Red Bull Arena.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of what is a historic moment for our sport,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “The use of the VAR system will help referees make sure that clear and obvious errors are omitted from the game, boosting the integrity of the sport in the future. We are very excited to see the system in live action at Red Bull Arena.”
The IFAB focuses on ensuring that communication between match officials and the Video Assistant Referee is clear, precise, and efficient, with the aim of reducing avoidable delays during the review process and minimizing the impact on the flow and excitement of the game.
In addition to the work previously done in the United States, workshops and meetings have also been held in the Netherlands and Switzerland. For the first time on Friday, as the Red Bulls II host Orlando City B, the system will be used for a professional league game.
The Red Bulls sit two points behind LouCity on the Eastern Conference table.
“With our team having seen the system in operation throughout this testing phase, we are looking forward to seeing further VAR live experiments used in USL games,” said USL VP of Competition and Operations Perry Van Der Beck, who will be in attendance on Friday night. “This is a groundbreaking moment for soccer as a whole, and we are proud to be part of it as we work alongside MLS and the IFAB on this project.”
Other Red Bulls games featuring the video referee system are against FC Cincinnati (Aug. 28), the Harrisburg City Islanders (Sept. 7) and FC Montreal (Sept. 17).