Sounders: 4 takeaways from heartbreaking 3-3 tie with LA Galaxy
By Paul Taylor
3) Lack of common sense on penalty decision
With time running down in the second half, Seattle appeared set to return to winning ways on the road in the most impressive of fashions. After Frei caught the ball from an apparent header at goal however, there was still one more twist to come.
VAR decided to review what seemed like an innocent enough sequence of events. Shockingly, the decision was made to award Los Angeles with a penalty, which was subsequently converted by substitute Dejan Joveljic in added time.
The question is though, should the penalty have even been given in the first place? As much as the ball did indeed hit Xavier Arreaga's hand, the eventual decision to give a spot kick was clearly lacking in sound judgement.
Yes, Arreaga's arm was in an unnatural position, but he was not trying to use his hand to make contract with the ball. In addition, the defender literally had no time to react and move his arm out of the way.
Schmetzer did his best to be calm and objective when discussing the incident with the media, but still made his point well. He said:
"Look, by the letter of the law, they got it right. (However) the problem with the law is that if you look behind Xavi when the ball hit his arm -- and the ball hit his arm, his arm wasn't moving towards the ball -- we had two defenders there. So even if the ball would have gone past Xavi or there would have been something, our guys would have cleaned it up. There was no Galaxy player behind him. So there was no real negating of the advantage, so to speak."
The theory behind bringing VAR into the game is a good one, but the reality not so much, at least on Friday night. If there is anything for the league office to learn from incidents such as this, is the need to apply more common sense when making decisions.