New England Revolution 1, New York Red Bulls 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
The New England Revolution earned their first win of the 2016 MLS regular season on Friday, as they defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 at Gillette Stadium.
After a lackluster first half where chances were few, the game broke open in the second half, punctuated by two plays sure to spark discussion in the aftermath. First, Diego Fagundez's 55th-minute goal came seconds after Kemar Lawrence sat on the turf with an apparent injury in the middle of the field. Scott Caldwell played a ball over the top to Juan Agudelo, who hit a square pass in the box to an open Fagundez, who made no mistake. Lawrence was immediately substituted from the game following the goal.
The second play came less than 10 minutes later, as Felipe was given a straight red card for a challenge on Kelyn Rowe in midfield, making New York's quest to grab an equalizer all the more difficult. Bradley Wright-Phillips had a chance in the game's final 10 minutes, with a shot right in front of goal off a corner kick, but Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came up with the vital save to preserve his side's advantage.
- FAIR PLAY OR FOUL? Should the Revolution have played the ball out of bounds as a courtesy to the Red Bulls when Lawrence went down injured? That's going to be hotly debated. Technically, there is no rule requiring teams to play the ball out when an opposing player gets hurt -- when it happens, it is a courtesy, even if it is considered an "unwritten rule" by some. Ultimately, the decision to stop play was at the discretion of referee Mark Geiger, who did not whistle play dead. So was the Revs' decision to play on fair or foul? Pro player Bobby Warshaw weighed in on the debate prior to Friday's game on this very subject.
- TALKING POINT NO. 2 - THE RED CARD: Felipe's red card tackle will surely be the other hot topic from this match. Many will believe the tackle, where his studs connected with Rowe's ankle, as rather inconsequential and not warranting an ejection, but this kind of tackle has resulted in red multiple times this season -- such as New England's game last weekend, when Gershon Koffie was sent off for a similar offense.
- ROBLES RUINS AGUDELO'S AUDACITY: Ok, Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was only doing his job, but he did ruin Agudelo's attempt to replicate San Jose forward Quincy Amarikwa's remarkable lofted chip goal from a few weeks back. It looks like goalkeepers are getting sharper on those sneaky attempts.
- NE: Saturday, April 9 vs. Toronto FC (4 pm ET, MLS Live in US, TSN4 in Canada)
- NY: Saturday, April 9 vs. Sporting Kansas City (7 pm ET, MLS Live)