DC United

Premier League replay error in Aston Villa, Sheffield United game a reminder of sports' best and worst

Premier League replay error in Aston Villa, Sheffield United game a reminder of sports' best and worst

It took all of 42 minutes for us to remember what we love most about the Premier League, and sports in general: a collective yell at a referee.  

The opening fixtures of the Premier League’s Project Restart were dull and drab for the most part, with a 0-0 draw kicking things off between Sheffield United and Aston Villa on Wednesday, but there was at least one moment in the first 90 minutes back that sparked emotion. 

Set up with a free kick between the box and the corner at an angle that provided little in the way of shooting angles for Sheffield United, Oliver Norwood sent a looping ball towards the back post. Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland caught the ball and stumbled backwards into his own net, carrying the ball well across the goal line.  

However, neither the referee nor the linesman caught it. And the PL’s Hawk-Eye goal line technology that is supposed to alert the referee when the ball crosses the line missed it, too.  

According to a statement from Hawk-Eye “all seven of its cameras monitoring the goal were obscured by either the goalkeeper, a defender or the goalpost.”  

It was the first time in over 9,000 matches using Hawk-Eye’s technology that this oddity occurred, according to the company. Funny though, because there were plenty of angles on NBC’s broadcast that were conclusive that the ball crossed the line. 

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As more technology is introduced to sports all over the world, mistakes are bound to happen, especially when people are involved. Michael Oliver, the referee in the Sheffield-Villa game, could have easily seen with his eyes that the ball crossed the line but instead of trusting his eyes, he kept looking at his wristwatch, which signals when the technology spots a ball across the line, to no avail. If only EA Sports had a “referee botches clear goal call” audio button that NBC could have easily inserted into the broadcast. 

At the very least, we all got a glimpse into why sports bring us together, even if that overriding shared emotion is anger or disappointment. As little Sheffield United, pegged for a relegation scrap at the beginning of the season, now inch closer to an unthinkable Champions League berth, the two extra points that should have been theirs will likely linger for a while.  

RELATED: PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS: STORYLINES, HOW TO WATCH, SCHEDULE

Depending on what happens with Manchester City’s appeal of its two-year Champions League ban, those extra two deserved points could have put Sheffield into a Champions League spot yesterday. Instead, they sit in sixth place - one point behind Manchester United, who play Tottenham on Friday.  

But those two lost points don’t just affect the top of the table. At the bottom of the table, all of Aston Villa’s relegation rivals will be angered that the Birmingham-based club earned a point it did not deserve on the day.  

With just eight points separating the bottom six teams, every single one could be the difference between staying in the Premier League in 2020-21 or being relegated down to the Championship next season. The monetary difference is staggering. The stakes for all of those clubs massive. 

If the relegation battle comes down to that point, there will be some fingers pointed at the technology and everyone will again get to share in that collective emotion that we missed with sports paused.  

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FC Dallas-Vancouver Whitecaps match postponed after eight positive coronavirus tests

FC Dallas-Vancouver Whitecaps match postponed after eight positive coronavirus tests

The MLS is Back Tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps set for Thursday has been postponed after eight players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group-stage game will be rescheduled, the league said Saturday.

FC Dallas announced earlier this week that six players had tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Florida for the tournament. The entire team was quarantined.

Two Whitecaps players tested positive, forcing the team to remain in Canada, the league said. Additional tests were negative, but the team had to push back travel until Monday.

RELATED: WHEN ARE SPORTS RETURNING FROM CORONAVIRUS

The MLS is Back Tournament is set to open on Wednesday with a match between Orlando City and expansion Inter Miami.

The league's 26 teams will be sequestered in hotels for the duration of the monthlong tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

MLS shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 after teams had each played two games.

FC Dallas said all players and staff tested negative for the coronavirus before leaving for the tournament on last Saturday. Upon arrival, two players tested positive. Subsequent tests found four more players infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

"In consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff in Orlando out of an abundance of caution. All members of the club delegation are following MLS health and safety protocols and will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing," the team said in a statement.

The names of the players were not released.

The league said no other team was in contact with the FC Dallas delegation. League protocol requires players and staff to be tested every two days upon arrival in Florida.

FC Dallas will now open the tournament on July 15 against the Seattle Sounders, while the Whitecaps will play the San Jose Earthquakes later that day.

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MLS food for players in Orlando bubble might not be what you expect

MLS food for players in Orlando bubble might not be what you expect

With teams arriving in Orlando for the beginning of the MLS is Back Tournament that starts on July 8, players are excited for the opportunity to once again take the field and compete. However, there is one detail that doesn't have many too excited: the food.

On Tuesday, Toronto FC defender Omar Gonzalez, who played collegiately at the University of Maryland, shared a picture of the meal he was given in Orlando. Despite the description sounding appetizing, the sandwich looked anything but that, and it was accompanied by a rather unimpressive side of potatoes and a banana.

Gonzalez's teammate Eriq Zavaleta also shared a picture of his meal, which somehow looked even worse.

The photos are reminiscent of the infamous Fyre Fest disaster that promised fine-dining cuisine and instead provided guests with bread and a piece of cheese. The MLS meals don't look that bad, but it is surprising to see the athletes being given such unappetizing meals as they prepare for a month-plus of intense soccer games.

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH DC UNITED IN MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT

The MLS is Back Tournament that begins on July 8 will mimic a FIFA World Cup with teams competing in group and knockout round stages with the chance to earn a spot 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and win prize money. Hopefully, the events on the field go smoother than what is happening in the kitchen.

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