For the next round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying matches beginning on Jan. 27, Video Assistant Refereeing will be introduced. This was announced by the federation this week as Concacaf will use VAR in the remaining World Cup qualifiers leading up to Qatar 2022 as well as the Men's U20 Championship and the Concacaf W Championship.
VAR was already in use for the Gold Cup, Nations League, and the second half of Concacaf Champions League last season as Concacaf has done a phased rollout among the competitions.
"Concacaf has been working for the past three years towards introducing VAR in its competitions with multiple training and development opportunities for elite referees in our region, the group said in a statement.
"Despite the challenges caused by the public health situation, which delayed the progress in this area considerably due to leagues, competitions, and physical training camps being suspended for significant periods of time, Concacaf, with the support of its Member Associations, has been working to organize certification courses to fully implement VAR in its competitions. "
With each team having six remaining matches in World Cup qualifying, it is an unusual time to roll out VAR. Teams have already played eight games so it would be cleaner to roll it out for the playoff round or wait until next year to keep decisions on a level playing field.
While it is good to get correct decisions there is no way to review past decisions that may have been overturned which could rub some teams the wrong way. But with a spot at the World Cup on the line, it is better to have some VAR than to not have it at all.
The USMNT sit in second place in the Concacaf qualifying table through eight games. The U.S. will play next against El Salvador on Jan. 27. All USMNT road games as well as many other Concacaf World Cup qualifying matches can be streamed on Paramount+.