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Jay Heaps on Controversial Penalty Call: “The Consistency Has to be Better”

The Revolution gaffer spoke out about the mysterious penalty call on London Woodberry

MLS: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

There was nothing controversial about the Revolution’s performance on Sunday evening. The club sat back and allowed Columbus to dictate the flow of play, an approach that resulted in an uninspiring 2-0 loss.

But while the visitors created no controversy, referee Chris Penso did.

In the 85th minute of Sunday’s match, London Woodberry shadowed Ola Kamara on a near-post run. As a cross from Harrison Afful arrived in the box, both players motioned toward the ball and Kamara went to ground. Though Woodberry appeared to only make light—if any—contact with Kamara, Penso immediately pointed to the spot.

The FS1 broadcast crew voiced their disapproval of the call. Woodberry did the same. And after the match, Jay Heaps joined in.

“We’ve not had that call, for us, not once this year,” Heaps said to reporters after the game. “I think that is BS.”

Heaps went on to passionately question the consistency of MLS officiating.

“That’s what I have a problem with. The consistency of which that call is made—if it’s a penalty kick, great—if they’re going to do it, though, they better do it every time that thing freaking happens. Because I know when we played Red Bulls, the same thing happened to Kei, no call. ...The consistency has to be better.”

When asked if he felt “robbed” by the call, Heaps used the occasion to once again comment on the officiating inconsistencies he was witnessed this season.

“For me, it’s just a consistency issue,” he continued. “That’s what turns coach’s hairs grey. Just give me the same call, week in and week out. That’s what really frustrates.”

In the end, the call served as something of a moot point, as the Revs failed to drum up a promising opportunity over the final five minutes. But in Heaps’ eyes, the call is indicative of a greater issue: an inability to discern what is—and what isn’t—a penalty in Major League Soccer.

Special thanks to our friend Pat Murphy of Massive Report for contributing audio of the Heaps’ postgame press conference.