The New England Revolution returned to Yankee Stadium to face New York City FC and left the hallowed grounds with their hands up in the air wondering what they just witnessed.
There weren’t a lot of changes to the starting XI as Tommy McNamara replaced Maciel after missing the last match due to yellow card accumulation. Fans were happy to see Dylan Borrero get the start after the winger left the match after a collision with Djordje Petrovic and Andrew Farrell.
Let's play that ⚽️— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 9, 2022
Also in the midfield, Wilfrid Kaptoum got his eighth consecutive start and Matt Polster returned to the bench after missing some time due to a head injury.
So what do Revs fans need to know about the most bizarre match I can remember? Here are three thoughts.
1 - NYCFC should be forced to move
This isn't the first time that someone has complained about soccer being played at Yankee Stadium but it was highlighted once again on Saturday afternoon. The playing surface is a joke.
Whether it be the weird dimensions, the various colored playing surface, or players slipping left and right, it’s clear that soccer shouldn’t be played here. The fact that the league champions play here is a joke and is a detriment to the entire league as a whole. When you add in the fact that NYCFC doesn’t even truly have a home stadium as they have played home games in multiple stadiums, it’s stunning that MLS allows this.
The league needs to step in because MLS will continue to be looked down upon as long as NYCFC is allowed to call Yankee Stadium “home.”
(Twitter user @ajvsell made a great point, just make both New York teams play at Red Bull Arena until NYCFC finally gets a proper playing surface and stadium)
2 - The officiating was a joke
Let me preface this by saying that Andrew Farrell had a rough game. His tackle in the box on Talles Magno was misjudged and New England paid for it. Also as a veteran he should have seen how the game was going and be a bit more careful on what wound up being the third penalty kick of the half for NYCFC (something that hasn’t happened in an MLS game never mind a single half).
Also before I talk about the officiating, the Revs backline had a particularly poor game, specifically the center backs. Farrell was the main culprit but Henry Kessler struggled as well and after entering the match Jon Bell did too.
HOWEVER, the officiating crew completely took over the game and made Saturday afternoon more about them than the product. The second penalty that was awarded is simply not a penalty. It’s a play that happens in every single MLS match and the call was softer than a billion pillows.
The decision to give the third penalty and ensuing red card is harsh. It’s not as bad as the second call but the play was outside the box and a yellow card seemed much more justifiable. Still, when you have a call as unbelievable as the penalty against Kessler, every questionable call comes into question.
3 - Bou is blazing
Gustavo Bou picked the right time to go on a hot streak. He has now scored six goals in the last seven games.
Bou got New England back in the game after Talles Magno scored on a penalty kick 10 minutes into the match. Sebastian Lletget made a great run with the ball on the far side of the pitch in the first half and drew NYCFC defenders along with Sean Johnson towards him. Lletget beautifully laid the ball off to Bou who slotted the ball home to tie the match.
Bou displayed some great movement off the ball to find open space and allow himself to get the shot off. He wasn't done yet as he also found the back of the net in the 77th minute.
The striker has really come into his own and hopefully the arrival of Giacomo Vrioni will only help the veteran striker.
So, New England’s 10-game unbeaten streak has come to an end and the Revs will look to pick up points in their next match when they face the Philadelphia Union on July 16 in Pennsylvania.