USA Today via Reuters

The Major League Soccer has taken pride in having Lionel Messi as the face of the league. The Inter Miami star brought a Ballon d’Or to the US soccer league for the first time since its inception. Meanwhile, the MLS has been seeing record ticket sales in every other game that features Messi. Anyhow, now it is time for the 2022 World Champion to be proud of playing in what will be one of the most transparent soccer leagues in the world.

The MLS has now rolled out a set of new rules to increase the game’s transparency. Not only will the game be more flawless for the spectators, but it will also give utmost importance to players’ well-being. Per the latest update, the American Soccer League will modify its rules on the off-field treatment of players, VAR, and substitutions.

The MLS’ new rules for Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami and other clubs


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. The new rule on the off-field treatment of players

As per MLS Multiplex, the Major League will introduce the off-field treatment rule in the coming days. According to this novel rule, the match will automatically stop if a player is down on the ground for more than 15 seconds. Upon stopping, immediate medical assistance will be provided to the knocked-down player. This also prohibits players from faking severe pain. Moreover, the match official will give an additional two minutes of playtime in the game to compensate for the time spent treating the player. When the likes of Lionel Messi are prone to injuries, quick treatment for players is indeed the need of the hour in the MLS.


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. The timed substitution rule

While the off-field treatment rule is a boon to the players, the timed substitution rule will impose strictness on them. According to this rule, a subbed player should leave the field to the sidelines within 10 seconds. If they fail to do so, the team making the substitution will have to wait one minute to allow their new substitute to enter the field.


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USA Today via Reuters

. The VAR rule

The MLS’ to-be-introduced enhancement on VAR is the hallmark of transparency. Per the changed rule, each league game will show the VAR reviews on the big screen, making it visible to fans gathered in the stands. Besides, a referee will also explain the review to both the teams and the spectators. With this, the MLS can be sure that the league games are more accountable and transparent. The MLS’ VAR rule is commendable when the recent Real Madrid-Barcelona El Clasico tie got marred by a VAR controversy.


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USA Today via Reuters

Only time will tell when the Major League will implement the novel set of enhancements. Lionel Messi’s Miami side leads the MLS table in the East and awaits a clash against the New England Revolution on April 27. If the MLS implements these rules before the game, the Miami-New England tie will see Messi and Co. making the best and also struggling to adjust to the latest MLS rules.

Written by

Krishna Prasad M


One take at a time

Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by

Tushhita Barua