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Highlights of New England-Philadelphia; officials get one big call right, but one very wrong (Video)

Aug 25, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT

Conor Casey 3

No matter how frustrating a situation becomes, a good team simply does not lose its cool.

Philadelphia certainly did Sunday night outside Boston, where John Hackworth’s team collapsed under the frustration of watching two goals disallowed against New England. One decision was absolutely correct, but the second one was a perfectly legitimate goal. And it turned the important Eastern Conference match, a real back-breaker for Philadelphia.

It would have given the visitors a 2-1 lead.  Rather, referee Allen Chapman awarded a free kick to New England. As frustration began boiling over for the Union, Juan Agudelo soon hit a shot that turned into an own goal, spinning the night back in the Revs’ favor – and the rout was on.

Shortly after that, the Revs scored three goals in eight minutes. The fouls and the cards began falling for the infuriated Union, who saw three men cautioned and one (important, talented young center back Amobi Okugo) ejected.

(MORE: Important points on the Revs’ big win Sunday)

Watch the highlights below and you will see that Sebastien Le Toux was a half-step offside as officials ruled his rebound put-away was offside. Right call.

But soon after that, New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis fumbles a save, as the ball falls between his legs. Conor Casey, in full, aggressive gallop, is in quickly to score from close range.

Reis absolutely does not have possession, so the Union are correct to get twisted up over that one. No points for losing composure, as we already said – but you do hate to see matches turn on a blown decision, tough one though it was.

Here are the highlights, including all six official goals and the two that weren’t:


  1. mrstev - Aug 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Steve, between this game and the officiating calamity that occurred in Dallas on Saturday, I think it’s high time to revisit the subject. Yes, I’m talking about a bigger piece. So get your keyboard lubed-up. Point some fingers, call some people out, and stir this pot up! The media certainly can apply pressure on the league and keep the subject front and center.
    It is becoming tougher and tougher to be a fan of this league.

  2. Steve Davis - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I feel your pain. Officiating in MLS remains sub-standard in my opinion. But, also IMO, it’s getting better. Agonizingly slowly, as we see. But I do see progress in that the true calamity matches arrive with less frequency. Hollow solace, I suppose, but it’s something.

  3. rofrech - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Very silly article. Having been at the game, on the goal like where the ‘big blown call’ was made, it was not really clear in real time what the call was. Looked like either the ball was kicked out of Reis’s hands or a foul – Casey’s knee looked like it caught Reis in the shoulder. Of course, none of the game officials happened to have the one camera angel that showed the goal should have been allowed.

    Yes, MLS officials often are lacking. However, blaming the loss to this call is ridiculous. Philadelphia were on their heels from the start of the match. The blown call was during 1 of only 3 trips trips into the attacking third that they managed the entire half. And and the Philadelphia equalizer was the result a an early, short lived, 2nd half burst of attacking energy. The goal was more of a Revs defensive breakdown (pretty common for the Revs) than a brilliant attack.

    Maybe if the game had ended with a draw, or a 2:1 loss there would be an argument for the call making a difference. Doesn’t seem reasonable when they were dominated the whole match and were blown out 5:1.

    • Ben Saufley - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      I’m a Revs fan (and as such, I think, more likely to see sympathy for Philly in a negative light) but I don’t see this article as “blaming a loss on the blown call.” I agree with you – in real time, that was a lot harder to judge. And in fact, we don’t have a good angle to see what caused Reis to lose the ball – some have suggested it was Farfan (not sure I buy it). But the end result, which I think Steve points out clearly, is like you said. If it had ended 1-1 or 2-1, Philly might’ve had a gripe. But at 5-1, the blame is firmly on the losers’ shoulders.

      Again, like you said: there were about 10, 15 minutes at the start of the second half where the Revs were caught off guard by Philly’s change in formation. And it showed. It was looking brutal for a minute. Then one bad call went against the Union, the Revs adapted, and it went back to looking like the first half (which itself could’ve ended at least 2-0, if not 3-0 or more). To say the one blown call definitively changed the outcome is absurd, but I don’t think that’s Steve’s point. And it is entirely valid to point out that it happened, and to suggest it changed the game (Revs fighting from 2-1 is a different thing, though I’m still pretty sure they’d have come back as they did).

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