New England Soccer Today

Heaps Defends Revs on Controversial Goal

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jay Heaps played the game long enough to understand that, yes, there are instances in which a team should kick the ball out of bounds when an opposing player is down. Even so, the Revolution boss wasn’t about to apologize for the way his team scored Friday’s game-winning goal.

With Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence injured on the ground inside his own defending third, and the Revolution on the attack, the locals didn’t hesitate. Scott Caldwell played it forward to Juan Agudelo, who then found Diego Fagundez – who, incidentally, was kept onside by Lawrence – before the Revolution midfielder tapped it through in the 55th minute.

A pack of Red Bulls players swarmed referee Mark Geiger to protest the goal – which they felt shouldn’t have been allowed to unfold with an injured player on the ground. Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch called the manner in which the Revolution scored “shameful.”

But Heaps, for his part, wasn’t about to draw any lines on how his team was able to capitalize, especially after it allowed them to secure their first win of the season.

“I have mixed feelings on it,” Heaps said. “I try to have our guys play to the whistle so I’m never going to stop them from playing to the whistle. I think that there are injuries that the referee has to stop or you have to kick out of bounds.”

Agudelo, who probably had the best view of the play, said that he wasn’t trying to take advantage of the situation, but rather, finish out the play.

“I was thinking (Lawrence) was just about to get up because they kept on playing,” Agudelo said. “Then it was just instinct, once I got the ball, I just kept looking at the ball, looked down, saw my players come in, crossed it to Diego and he was able to get the ball in.”

While the Revolution winger/forward said he felt “partly bad” about the situation, he also knows that he would’ve been scapegoated had he kicked the ball out of play on a prime opportunity to score.

“I feel like once the ball’s hit to me, I can’t just kick it out of bounds, then everyone would (second-guess) me,” Agudelo said. “I guess it’s a 50/50 – it’s a tough situation. I never been in that situation before, so I just looked down, and crossed the ball.”

Red Bulls defender Dax McCarty questioned Agudelo’s decision to play on instead of kicking it out.

“Maybe they can argue and say they didn’t see that we had a man down until they were already in the attacking half and then they went on to score and they kind of play the innocent party here,” McCarty told the media after the match. “But then again my argument back would be, well, Juan Agudelo is in that position in the first place just kind of camping out up there on the right wing because I think he sees that we have a player that’s injured and they still have possession of the ball, and so it’s two-fold.”

Heaps said he didn’t have the best view of the play to judge whether Agudelo should or shouldn’t have stopped the play. But the Revolution coach clearly didn’t have any qualms with the way Agudelo handled it.

“When the game is on, and Juan Agudelo gets the ball over the top, and he’s on the outside of the eighteen,” Heaps said, “he’s got to play that on and I’d expect the other team to play that on and I’d be just as mad in the same scenario, but I’d understand.”

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