Saturday’s 3-2 loss was a wild game. There is no doubt about that but some members of the New England Revolution did differ in opinion on one aspect of the game.
Weather conditions were much worse than they were on Wednesday when the Revs faced off against Pumas UNAM in Concacaf Champions League play. The wind was whipping and the snow was falling making Gillette Stadium look more like a snow globe than a soccer field.
Snow was accumulating so much that Arnór Traustason was doing snow angels after missing a shot and there was no need for a heat map since you could tell based on the lack of snow how much an area was occupied.
It also didn’t help that the temperature was below 32 degrees.
The first twenty minutes of the match were insane to witness. From the press box, it was hard to see what was going on down below on the field. Real Salt Lake was basically wearing winter camp with their all-white kits.
While the conditions improved after that, it was still quite windy and snow continued to fall for some time. The game was not for the faint of heart and any fan that decided to attend the match deserves kudos.
Carles Gil was not happy that the match was played. His comments after the match are as angry as fans have ever seen him.
“It’s impossible to play futbol today,” Gil said to Naoko Funayama. “I can not talk with my teammates. I can not run. I can not do anything. It’s impossible. It’s not futbol. Stop the f**ing game.”
Veteran defender A.J. DeLaGarza agreed with his teammate. He told media that the conditions on Saturday were the worst that he has ever played in.
“Yeah, I think a couple guys said that in the first half to the ref, and he said, ‘If the ball’s rolling, we’re playing,’” DeLaGarza said when asked if he agreed with Gil. “So, when guys are playing and everybody watching knew that wasn’t how you play the game. But at the end of the day, there’s two teams out there and you compete and battle and grind to get a result and we put ourselves in good position until the end of the game.”
Adam Buksa also wasn't a fan of the conditions New England played in. While he recorded two assists on the evening, he expressed his frustration on Instagram after the match.
Head Coach and Sporting Director Bruce Arena didn’t offer much sympathy to his players. He was more concerned with the lack of concentration and mistakes that led to his squad’s demise than the weather.
“I don’t know,” said Arena when asked about the conditions. “Games have been played in the snow. So, I can’t argue that. What do you take away from it? Probably, you have to have better concentration at the end of the game and certainly on a day like today, there’s going to be mistakes made and the penalty area. And for us to have a combination of mistakes like that at the end of the game is inexcusable, but it certainly wasn’t a soccer game today, but you know, both teams played under the same conditions. So, give them credit.”
New England will have to move on from the blown game quickly as they have to play Pumas once more on Wednesday. While the Revs have a 3-0 lead on aggregate, if they put in a similar performance down in Mexico, they could be knocked out of the tournament.