3 Things: VAR Comes To MLS, Prudhomme Snaps Record, Martinez’s Eventful Game

3 Things: VAR Comes To MLS, Prudhomme Snaps Record, Martinez’s Eventful Game

Like it or not, the officials will get some visual assistance now.

There were a lot of stories in North American soccer this weekend. Let’s highlight three of them to keep you caught up on the big items from the weekend that was.


Video Review, using a Video Assistant Referee (VAR), has been used experimentally in USL and other competitions around the world on a limited basis since last year. On Saturday, it became fully live in MLS, with two goals overturned across the weekend’s action. One was in Philadelphia for FC Dallas:

…and the other was Gyasi Zardes literally punching a ball down before scoring for the Galaxy against Portland:

VAR will be used for the rest of the MLS season, possibly for good, possibly not, since this is still an experiment officially. There will be details that need to be ironed out, calls that will still be wrong. But for those who have felt center referees need more than three colleagues helping out on the field, the introduction of VAR feels like a momentous occasion in MLS history.

Sammy Jo Rises

Sammy Jo Prudhomme was drafted late in the 2017 NWSL Draft by the Boston Breakers, largely looking like she would enter camp from her NCAA title-winning season at USC aiming to simply make the roster, no guarantee in NWSL where most teams only have two goalkeepers. After winning the backup slot and then getting a chance this season in goal when No. 1 Abby Smith has been hurt or on U.S. Women’s National Team duty, Prudhomme’s play has largely flown under the radar, but she’s getting some important reps in her rookie campaign.

Of note, she also broke a Breakers record with her personal shutout streak:

For now, Prudhomme will make way for Smith to return in the lineup, but the Southern California native is off to a good start in her professional career.

A special hat trick?

USL watchers know Charlotte Independence midfielder Enzo Martinez is a star in the league, and his hat trick in a 3-1 win over Louisville City FC drove that point home again.

But Martinez, who was drafted by Real Salt Lake in 2012 but never made an appearance in MLS, has never made the step up from lower league soccer. Why is that?

The Uruguayan is renowned for his fiery nature almost as much as his talent, and his full performance in the win over Louisville made that clear.

Martinez picked up a yellow card in the very first minute, then scored his three goals, and on the celebration for the third goal? He jumped into the stands, earning, that’s right, a second yellow card and was ejected. So now he’s probably going to be USL Player of the Week, but also have to sit out Charlotte’s next game for his easily avoidable red card. Maybe we should call it the “Enzo Martinez Hat Trick”?