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New England Revolution Comment on Officiating in Game 1
"I think it was bullshit that Carles gets hit out of the game and the guy doesn't even get a yellow card."
While the New England Revolution got off to a rough start against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, the officiating didn’t do the Revs any favors.
To make one thing clear before we dive in, the Revs lost the game. Clint Peay’s side played poorly for the majority of the match (they won the second half) and deserved to lose the game.
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But having your captain and lifeblood of the team get knocked out of the game after a late challenge from an opponent is going to sting. More salt was inserted into New England’s wound as Mikael Uhre walked away a free man with no yellow card being issued.
Then in rapid succession, Bobby Wood, Andrew Farrell, and Tomas Chancalay all picked up yellow cards. While likely worthy of entering the book, the officiating crew lacked consistency. If Uhre’s offense was deemed to not be a bookable offense, the same grace should have been extended to New England.
But now the status of New England’s magical midfielder is unknown as Peay was unable to give an update on the status of Gil. The interim head coach stated that he will be reevaluated in the coming days.
“We’ll have to reevaluate Carles [Gil] in the next day or two and see where he is,” Peay said. “He just took a knock and it was enough to limit him so he had to come off for it, but no real prognosis yet.”
The interim head coach also noted that playoff games can be difficult for officials to call and control.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s a difficult game,” Peay said. “Tensions are high, teams are competing and it’s not an easy game to officiate. I’ll just leave it at that.”
But Gil’s teammates believe that the league needs to do a better job of protecting the midfielder. Dave Romney even went as far to say that it was a dirty play by Uhre when speaking to Greg Johnstone in the locker room.
"I think fine for the most part,” Romney told The Blazing Musket when asked about how the officials controlled the game. “I think it was bullshit that Carles gets hit out of the game and the guy doesn't even get a yellow card. That foul's pretty evident. It was dirty, away from the ball. Just kind of hacked Carles for no reason so I think that should have been a yellow."
Andrew Farrell also added that Revolution players were telling the officials to look after Gil. The center back also added that New England might need to be more physical in the coming matches.
“Yeah, obviously, we were trying to tell them [the officials] to watch out for Carles,” Farrell said. “Obviously, there are certain players in the league who are important for each team and Carles is that guy for us and we wanted to protect him. So yeah, we're trying to let them know every time he was getting fouled, 'Hey, come on, let's give them a card or something to ease them off a little bit.' And obviously, unfortunately, they got him a couple too many times. I guess that's part of the game. You know they're going to try to –not take him out, but just be physical with him [Carles Gil]. I think that's something we need to maybe be a ittle bit more of is be a little bit more physical. I think we were a little bit more in the second half and in the game. We obviously won the second half 1-0, but at the end of day, we’ve got to start the game better and limit our mistakes to have a chance to get back into this series.”
So now New England will shift its focus to Game 2. The 10-day lay off will increase the chances of the Revolution captain being able to return for the match at Gillette Stadium but until he is on that starting XI graphic, fans will be nervous and skeptical heading into the second match of the series.
Philadelphia will likely continue to attack Gil and up its physicality against the midfielder. It is on the officials and to a larger point MLS to ensure that opponents can’t play “hack-a-gil” to win games and beat New England.
But Game 2 is do or die for the Revolution. If they lose, the most disruptive season in club history will end with a whimper. If they win, New England and its fans will cling to the hope of advancing out of the first round.