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PRO Confirms Both Sporting KC PKs are Correct Against Toronto FC

Two penalty kicks. Two VAR reviews. Two goals.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

One week ago Sporting Kansas City headed to the great white north to take on Toronto FC. The game would ultimately finish with a 2-2 draw but the game was not without controversy. Sporting KC benefited from two penalty kick calls that led to their only two goals of the game.

In their weekly “Inside Video Review” segment, PRO Referees sent out Greg Barkey, Manager of Video Review to discuss all the calls from Week 15. Two of the four plays discussed came from the SKC game in Toronto.

The first penalty called was when Toronto defender Drew Moor reached out and held Gerso Fernandes to prevent him from getting to a ball he had just played off his chest. The contact is brief and the foul is called immediately. But it’s not until the VAR signals for review that Bazakos ultimately calls the penalty as the foul occurred just inside the box. It’s probably a little soft, but it’s a foul and it’s in the penalty area.

The second penalty also comes after a review and you can see why when you watch it at full speed. Felipe Gutierrez receives a delicate through ball from Yohan Croizet and when he goes to take his shot Nick DeLeon collides with him and misses the ball. A yellow is given for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) and the PK is given. Because DeLeon made a play on the ball (even though he missed), it was not a red. Had it occurred outside the box and no other defender was in the immediate area, it would have been a red card, but of course not a PK.

So for Toronto fans, players and coaches who thought they were screwed, by the letter of the law the refs got it right. I can see why they’d be upset, particularly with the first penalty, but Moor simply doesn’t need to foul Gerso in that situation. It’s like when a player is dribbling away from goal but get fouled in the box. It’s dumb, but it’s technically a penalty.

In the end, Felipe Gutierrez converted both penalty kicks but it wasn’t enough for SKC as they managed to give up a late equalizer and split the points on the road.

The entire video from PRO is below.