One such more important game: USA vs Sweden in a women's Olympic soccer match marred by some controversial refereeing decisions.
But such controversies may soon be a thing of the past, or at least may be given a more modern look. Instead of fans gleefully tweeting the obvious errors of a referee’s ways, the refs will have a chance to review what the cameras have seen themselves. And, maybe, make the right decision.
It will doubtless be a slow road to the full integration of Video Assistant Referees in global soccer. A progress only minimally impeded by the burden of the cumbersome title "Video Assistant Referee".
But the journey is starting in Harrison. Home of the New York Red Bulls. And, for the rest of this season, the New York Red Bulls II - now announced as pioneers/guinea pigs of the technology that hopes to deliver us all from the torment of bungled calls on the field.
Refs will still make mistakes. Video Assistant Refs won’t be able to solve them all. But if the future of soccer is pauses in the game while replays are scrutinized, you have the chance to see the first, tentative steps toward that future now.
Seriously: now. As in today. On August 12 at 7:00 pm, NYRB II will play with a VAR monitoring the game. We don’t know how visible that presence will be or whether it will have any effect on the match against Orlando City B at all.
But you, dear reader, can find out by simply heading to Harrison in time for kick-off. NYRB II draws "crowds" of less than 500 to a 25,000-seat stadium. There will be room. Tickets are $10. The soccer is good. And it will also be historic.
Go see soccer history in Harrison. Go see NYRB II.