Teenager Caden Clark, who was announced as a new signing only earlier in the day, scored the sensational game-winner in his debut for the New York Red Bulls in a big 1-0 road win at Atlanta United.
But the goal by the 17 year old was not without some controversy: Atlanta players were adamant that RBNY’s Daniel Royer was in an offside position and in the line of sight of the goalkeeper, Brad Guzan.
The play was checked by VAR Alan Kelly and head referee Jair Marrufo’s original decision to award the goal stood.
“From where we are, I don’t think there’s any “potential.” I think he’s definitely impeding with the goalkeeper’s view,” Atlanta interim manager Stephen Glass told FOX Sports after the final whistle. “He actually jumps out of the way of the ball so Brad can’t dive unless he knows that he’s going to play it or not. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s offside.”
“We’re undone by a refereeing decision,” Glass said later in the interview. “There’s no doubt about that.”
After the match, Glass also addressed the topic with media:
“No explanation given. You can ask them but they won’t really speak to you after the game, to be honest,” Glass said. “But the biggest issue for me is that I think it’s offside and the fact that one of the top referees in the country chooses not to look at it on the monitor – that’s to me, I’m not sure why they end up refereeing. They’ve got people in a room somewhere refereeing the game. A guy that’s one of the best referees in the country does not go and look at the incident when there’s an opportunity to do so. So no explanation.”
The Video Review protocol calls for the Video Assistant Referee to recommend a review to the referee in case of a clear and obvious error on the field. The head referee may decide to conduct a Video Review at the monitor based on the feedback from the VAR.
Marrufo issued the following statement after the match: “Royer is not in the line of vision of Guzan. He also does not make any clear action that has an impact on Guzan’s ability to play the ball.”
“The referee said ‘Yes, he’s offside,'” Atlanta’s Jeff Larentowicz told media. “He moved his body to get out of the way of the ball as the ball was traveling toward the goal does Brad know that he’s offside? Probably not. What happens if Royer doesn’t move his body? Does the ball hit him? The ref says he doesn’t make a play on the ball. In that moment, can Brad know that he’s offside and say ‘Oh, I have to save the original shot if Royer is offside?’ The ref said he’s offside.
“I think Jair [Marrufo] is one of the best refs in the league. I think that Alan Kelly is probably the best ref in the league and he was the VAR. But I think they get it wrong.”