Fuel Soccer Talk: Offside will never be the same thanks to technology; Victory Tour a victory for USWNT; Atlanta on the rise in MLS

Is VAR’s perfection causing problems for the great game?

In baseball, there used to be the “in the neighborhood” saying. It wasn’t a rule, but an understanding. If the infielder was “in the neighborhood” of second base while turning a double play that was close enough. That saying and “understanding” was eliminated with the introduction of instant replay – the infielder now has to touch the base with the ball securely in his hands.

Now – staying with baseball – there is talk and even plans of using technology to call balls and strikes. Is getting it right at the expense of the game really worth it? Do we need to bring technology into every aspect of our daily lives? Is having a computer call balls and strikes going too far? Will it ruin the game?

The same now can be asked in soccer. Is VAR calling offside the same as calling balls and strikes in baseball? This past weekend technology ruled Raheem Sterling was offside costing Manchester City a goal in its game with West Ham United. His shoe lace or sleeve of his uniform or hair on his head was a millimeter offside. Being level no longer exists in football – same as being a just off the plate strike or too close to take in baseball. You are either onside or offside – or it’s either a strike or a ball.

Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail wrote an excellent column on the impact of VAR on the offside rule and what it means to the great game.

Samuel opines: “Clear and obvious does not actually apply to offside because, as referees are explaining, it is unconditional. So players are now being given offside who were previously classed as level. And level was a myth. There is no such thing as level if we slow the action frame by frame because one player will always have a part of his body fractionally ahead of the opponent. Yet level was an important part of our reasoning around football.”

Reasoning, like level, appears to be a thing of the past. Just like “in the neighborhood.”


Coming up Roses: Watch the USWNT’s Victory Tour triumph over Ireland

The 2019 U.S. WNT Victory Tour started in Los Angeles, where the U.S. players continued the celebrations and delighted a huge crowd at the historic Rose Bowl on a beautiful evening as the USA downed Republic of Ireland, 3-0. Here is all the action in case you missed it – and feel free to celebrate again!!!

Here come the champs! Atlanta climbs to 3 in power rankings

While LAFC is clearly flexing its muscle atop MLS, other teams down below are starting to make some noise.  Philadelphia held on to the No. 2 spot in the latest MLS power rankings but Atlanta, Portland and NYFC all moved up and are playing well. Atlanta is the team on the move as the defending champions are now third after dropping as far as 19 earlier in the year. A big game with Portland is coming soon and that will be a great indicator for both sides.

San Jose dropped from three to seventh after its 2-1 loss to Colorado.

Check out the full power rankings – HERE

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

Follow Terry on Twitter:

Do you have a story idea for a post or a comment on a recent post? If so, email Terry at