NYCFC's David Villa sees red for slap on A.J. DeLaGarza after VAR used

David Villa was sent off during New York City FC's 3-1 Desert Diamond Cup loss to Houston Dynamo on Saturday night thanks to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.

The system has been introduced in the MLS preseason as a way to help advise the on-field referee on "game-changing" decisions including goals, penalty shouts, direct red card incidents and mistaken identity.

In Villa's case on Saturday, cameras picked up the striker slapping the face of Houston Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza with his hand during a tussle in the 18-yard box.

Initially Villa was handed a yellow card, but upon further review Villa was shown his marching orders.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has previously said that if the system proves to be a success, it will be implemented during the second half of the 2017 regular season.

Diego Chara picked up the MLS' first straight red from VAR in the 39th minute of the Portland Timbers match against Real Salt Lake on Feb. 9. After a formal review, Chara was found to be guilty of violent conduct against an opponent.