Missed penalty calls, goals that shouldn't have been, or goals that should have been. It's a never-ending discussion that usually involves the implementation of technology into the game with long-standing tradition. Every controversial goal call that is either given or not is usually followed by a spree of social media posts asking for goal-line technology. For example, a goal Orlando City scored on NYCFC was not given, because the ref didn't see the ball cross the line. Here are some examples of social media posts about the incident.
Goal line technology pic.twitter.com/LuavOSJ9eU— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) October 17, 2015
The idea of goal-line technology has been floating around MLS since 2011, and fans have continued to ask about it. According to an article on mlssoccer.com, Commissioner Don Garber, when "speaking to the Associated Press of Sports Editors" had this to say in 2013 on possible future implementation:
"As of today, the time required to purchase, receive, install and properly test the equipment precludes MLS from considering the approved system for use in our 2014 season, but we are hopeful that the system proves successful in the Confederations Cup and becomes more feasible for us in subsequent years."
The story also mentioned the general cost of the GoalControl system would be about $260,000 per stadium, and a further $3,900 each game. That would roughly come out to $326,300 per team for the first season and then $66,300 for every season after that. At the time in 2013, the league wasn't making enough money to quantify that kind of spending. Now, however, three years later, the league has more advertising revenue, international markets and better attendance. So it begs the question: is it time to get goal-line technology in MLS?
Let's go ahead and break down why, in fact, it would be beneficial to have goal-line technology. The obvious reason is that, if implemented, all controversial goal calls would be able to be amended, if wrong, or upheld, if right. No more key decisions left in the hands of a line judge who may have a bad angle on the play, or a head referee who may want the spotlight. With that being said, referees take on a great deal of responsibility during each game and they have to make split second decisions, call fouls and enforce the rules in general. Just like all humans, they are not perfect and occasionally make wrong calls. The technology would allow them to focus on other aspects of the game, while allowing the goal-line system to do its job, therefore making the game more fair.
On the other side of the coin, there's the aforementioned cost of all of it. Almost four grand per game just to see if the ball actually crossed a line or not? I'm pretty sure most owners and front office people in MLS HQ wouldn't want to pay that kind of money. There's also the "soccer purists" who want to keep the game as it is without adding any more unnecessary technology. They'd rather see the game keep its authenticity, rather than become modernized with replay and goal-line technology. They feel that with all the stoppages to check replay and monitors to see if the call was right, there would be a lot of waiting around, like in pro basketball and football.
Now, talking about technology in general, Paul Tenorio wrote an article back in August going in depth into the possibility of video review coming to MLS, which would probably be a cheaper alternative. They were in discussions in testing the technology in the upcoming MLS Combine, so this could be the first step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, what do you think about goal-line technology being implemented into the game? Step in the right direction? Step in the wrong direction? Let us know in the comments below.