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Michael Bradley: VAR ‘not something I’m a fan of’

Photo by Greg Bartram/USA Today Sports

A Video Assistant Referee system is coming to MLS, but don’t count Michael Bradley among those excited to see the implementation.

The Toronto FC midfielder revealed that he isn’t a fan of the league’s implementation of VAR, which is set to begin next weekend. The system will see a fifth official added to a video booth at each MLS games to identify missed calls on goals, penalty decisions, red cards and mistaken identity. VAR referees can alert referees when a play is in need of review, which will then see the game’s head official review the play on a pitch-side screen.

Bradley, though, revealed he’s a fan of the subjective nature of the game’s officiating, making him opposed to the incoming system.

“I don’t like it,” Bradley told the Toronto Sun. “I’m a traditionalist when it comes to this stuff. I think the human error when it comes to refereeing is part of it.”

“I’ve been on the wrong end of bad calls and I’ve been on the right end of them,” Bradley added. “I’ll continue to be on the wrong end of calls. But, for me, this is sport. Again, our game is so grey. In terms of the flow and the way the game is played, (VAR) is not something I’m a fan of at the moment.”

Bradley and Toronto FC face off with D.C. United next weekend following the midfielder’s participation in the MLS All-Star Game.


  1. Smartest thing ever….. MLS is played in the USA not in a traditional soccer nation that embraces the subjectivity of the game. We want the call right every time. Grown men should be mocked for diving and receive a card in the process. Big step forward IMO. Welcome to the age of internet soccer! Stay a while you might like it.

  2. “I think the human error when it comes to refereeing is part of it.”- seriously? Michael Bradley who has blasted refs as “not good enough” maybe more then anyone else in the league. Now is fine with human error being part of it?

  3. You all and Bradley do not want the game to be fair. Why not implement it? If someone is sucker punched, slapped, bitten, or the victim of a dirty tackle that the ref missed. Why not have video to capture the full incident??? Smh!

    • Totally agree. I love Bradley, but his comments here annoy me to no end! Human error is a part of it. Why?!?!?!? why is that a good thing to keep?!?!? If you can eliminate 80% of errors, you should take that. It’s equivalent to having an ability to use a radar to record a speed of a passing car, but arguing that it would be better if a trained human would just estimate it. And to keep arguing that human error is something that should be kept…

  4. In the Confederations Cup, I noticed Chile adopted the hand motion of mimicking a TV screen to instigate the refs to review a play, at almost every stoppage.

    …and I thought the constant hand motioning for cards was annoying.

  5. Ugggh, I dread the day that is coming when commercials work their way in mid game.

    We saw in the Confed Cup, all VAR is doing is opening up the play to another person’s interpretation. No two refs call the game in the same way, why does everyone think that the VAR’s version is more correct. A lot of the calls they reviewed were just down to a ref’s opinion – and not the black and white obvious mis-call that VAR was supposed to unmask.

    One other point on all of this, it has been proven that when things are played in slow motion the choice made by the viewer is skewed towards the guilty side. i.e. Tapes played in court rooms to show a potential criminal’s acts seem more on purpose and premeditated when shown in slow-mo.


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