- Jason Davis

Australia's FA has volunteered the A-League to be goal line technology guinea pigs, if FIFA finally decides to begin testing a system in live games at any point in the future. Reports on initial testing on the setups FIFA is exploring are due to the International Football Association Board (IFAB, the rules committee) next month. It would follow that if the board decides one of the systems is worth testing, a volunteer would be needed. Australia has just jumped the line. Provided there is such a thing.

The "guinea pig" role on goal line technology is one for which MLS seems like an obvious candidate. Americans are old hats at video replay, since all of our major sports incorporate it on some level. Does that mean MLS should want the job?

I'll admit it. I'm torn.

First, let me get this out of the way: I am not, by any means, a cheerleader for goal line technology. I'm wary of its application and I'm a traditionalist at heart. I'm open to seeing how it might operate, but I don't hold it up as a necessity for the modern game. People are fallible, both player and referee. Those truths have played massive roles in the history and development of the sport, mostly to its betterment.

MLS could benefit from taking on the replay canary-hood. Attention will come because of it, both from domestic and international sources. Fans will want to see goal line technology in action. Every time the system is used, Sky will report on it, The Guardian will run a story, and foreign-language press will make note. ESPN might even give it a mention or two. Fans of European soccer who have always turned their noses up at MLS will at least take a glimpse, see a highlight, watch the fallout. Millions of otherwise unprocurable eyeballs will be on the league.

But there's a flip side as well. In a context where Major League Soccer's differences often work to its detriment because so many soccer fans take their cues from abroad, adding to the list of MLS oddities might not be a good idea. The millions of new eyeballs mentioned above will mostly pay attention after the fact, and while a few might take a chance on the league down the road, the return might not be worth the trouble. Few will flip by an MLS match simply for the small chance that the goal line system will need to be used. The odds are staggeringly high that it won't.

Whatever system is put in place, it won't be trotted out but a handful of times in a season. Perhaps that makes it a "why not?" proposition, and MLS should get in line behind the A-League for first crack at trying out whatever vehicle FIFA decides to use to lurch their way into the 21st century.

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