(Jesse Marsch – Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire)
The New York Red Bulls suffered a dispiriting 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution in Foxborough, MA, and their disappointing start continues, with their record now 1-3 on the season.
The referees played a big part in this game, with two questionable calls against the Red Bulls.
The Revolution’s lone goal came in the 55th minute, when Diego Fagundez scored on a cross from Juan Agudelo.
Play was allowed to continue despite Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence down on the field with an injury, which would cause him to leave the game a few minutes later.
Referee Mark Geiger said of allowing play to continue with Lawrence down, “At the time, the injury did not appear serious. Therefore, play was allowed to continue.”
There also was a questionable red card issued to Felipe after a challenge on New England’s Kelyn Rowe in the 61st minute, forcing the Red Bulls to play a man down for the final 30 minutes.
Geiger said of the red card, “Felipe challenged for the ball using excessive force, making contact with his studs to the opponent’s lower leg.”
The Red Bulls’ best scoring chances came from Bradley Wright-Phillips, a partial breakaway in the 61st minute, which he was taken down and a penalty should have been given to New England; and a close-rage opportunity after a corner kick in the 81st minute.
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of Lawrence’s injury, the referees, and the team’s performance, “Kemar (Lawrence) felt his knee pop a little bit, we’re hopeful he’ll be okay, but we’re not sure. You know, it’s shameful for me, the game is supposed to have honor and they can claim that they didn’t see them, they can claim that they weren’t sure he was hurt. It was clear as day that he was down on the ground and not just one player saw him, the whole team saw him, do that part for me is shameful.
“The other part is that the referee had such a huge impact on this game by having a bad performance. For me, he can blow the whistle when a guy is down like that. He can give a red card to Bradley Wright-Phillips when he is on a breakaway and he gets pushed and shoved from behind that prevents him from getting a clear shot. Could be a red card penalty. How does that affect the game? I’ll stop talking about that right now. I wanted to get that out. I want to make a point of that.
“The next part I want to go to is that our team played great. We had fight, our team stuck together, had confidence even with a man down, played quite well to one of the better teams. It’s frustrating to lose, but in many ways that was a great performance for us and we’re unlucky to walk out of here without something,” said Marsch.
Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty said of play continuing with Lawrence down hurt, “Clearly, that was the play that decided the game. There’s a few different ways you can look at it. I think from our standpoint, maybe we’re a little bit naive, and maybe we can do more to let the ref know we have a guy down injured and put it in his hands. But then again what are we doing? It’s 2016. I guess we’re asking refs to be doctors in the moment on the field.”
McCarty continued on the refs and the Revolution’s role in the play, “On one hand, it’s in the ref’s hands. If he decides it’s a serious injury, he can blow the whistle, and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to but then you hope a team would recognize that you knock the ball out of bounds. I feel like in the game these days sportsmanship is this novel concept that we love to talk about and think about, but I don’t really think it exists anymore in the game these days.”
Marsch said of what he told his team after the Revolution scored, “You just say, ‘the game is still there,’ and to push them and they did. It’s obviously an incredibly frustrating moment, but we stuck with the game and we were a bit unlucky to not find a goal.”
Marsch said of the Felipe red card, “That’s another one that’s not a red card. I said I was going to stop, but I didn’t include that when we talked about the referee. With Felipe being out, it’s frustrating and disappointing from the call but I know that Sean Davis stepped in and actually played really well and did a good job. I think Sean will be ready next week and this team’s down. It’s a good team, a deep team, so I’m not worried about that.”