New England Soccer Today

Heaps: “5 Out of 6 Games Determined by Referee Error”

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the fifth time in six games this season, the New England Revolution failed to take three points.

For the fifth time in six games this season, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps wasn’t happy with the referees.

“Frustrated, disappointed, disheartened,” said Heaps after the Revolution blew an early 1-0 lead and were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium in the late afternoon on Saturday. “When you have five out of six games determined by referee error, it’s becoming… it’s disappointing.”

One of the major talking points of the match was Toronto FC’s equalizer due to two controversial calls or non-calls leading up to the play. First, Gershon Koffie was taken down by a reckless sliding challenge from Justin Morrow and play was allowed to continue.

“If you look at it by what the replay showed it should’ve been a red card originally,” said Heaps. “I think that they’re going to go back and that’s what Felipe got, that’s what Gershon got [in previous weeks], that’s what they’re calling.”

Instead of handing out a red card, referee Edvin Jurisevic played the advantage on the Morrow challenge—he’d later go back to give Morrow a yellow card—and Lee Nguyen played Teal Bunbury in the box. Bunbury turned to shoot, but went down under a challenge from Drew Moor.

“He kicks [Bunbury] and you can hear it from the bench,” said Heaps. “The fact that four [referees] didn’t see it is… it’s sad.”

As the Revolution argued for a penalty, Toronto sprung a quick counterattack with a long ball from Will Johnson springing Jozy Altidore behind the defense. Altidore eventually set up Sebastian Giovinco, whose deflected shot off Jose Goncalves beat Bobby Shuttleworth to knot the score at 1-1, which would hold for the final score line.

Despite the controversial calls, Heaps was a bit disappointed with some of his team’s failure to play to the whistle on the play.

“It looks like there is a penalty and then we’re out of sorts and that can’t happen,” said Heaps. “That’s where I was disappointed in the play. We have to be better than what’s being dictated by a non-call or the other team. We have to be… because that was all they had in terms of that second half, Giovinco on two chances, one where he hit wide and one where he scored.

The play drew some parallels to last week, when the Revolution defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on a controversial goal by Diego Fagundez. There the Red Bulls had a player down and were looking for a call as the Revolution played on and scored an easy goal with the defense out of position.

“It was a really tough play, but we were on the other side of it last week,” said Revolution defender Chris Tierney. “We preach play to the whistle. I haven’t really looked back and seen what happened fully, but we had guys rushing back and had some chances to make plays and it was just an unlucky deflection in the end so, it was a tough one.”

Another questionable non-call came in the 90th minute when substitute Charlie Davies led an attack into the box and was charged down from behind by Michael Bradley. Again no penalty call was forthcoming from the referee. New England still had a chance to score on the play despite the challenge, but Rowe, who scored the Revolution’s lone goal of the match in the 14th minute, sent a close range shot right at Toronto ‘keeper Clint Irwin.

“Unfortunately this real early part of the year we’ve been talking a lot about referees,” said Heaps. “They’ve got to make the right calls and they stand by it when they make the red card calls and they’ve just got to stand by it when they miss penalty kick calls and they missed two tonight.”

The controversy didn’t end there, as deep into stoppage time the Revolution scored what appeared to be a winner, when a Rowe cross from the left flank was played back across goal by rookie Femi Hollinger-Janzen at the endline and slotted home by Nguyen. The flag went up on the play, nullifying the goal as the referees ruled the ball went out of play before Hollinger-Janzen sent it across goal.

“Quite frankly, the last play of the game when we score the goal, the referee called it out of bounds—now, I have not seen that film yet—but for me you have to be in the right position,” said Heaps. “He’s called it out by an inch, so he’s got to be on the line to see that.”

For Heaps, one of the toughest parts of all the points the team has dropped in controversial fashion this year is the team talk at the end of the match.

“All week long we talk about following the game plan and going out and performing and being in positions to make plays,” said Heaps. “When they do that, and they’re there, and someone else decides it, not the other team, it’s really hard to explain to them because they put so much into it.”



  1. BWG

    April 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    His behavior remains outloundish childish and unprofessional and it is reflected in the teams response. When he makes comments like these why wouldn’t he expect his team to behave in a similar fashion on the pitch when it has been wronged. Once again take some responsibility be a leader show the team what it is about and maybe they will start to perform the way they should as well. They miss jones for this reason above all. He was the only leader on the team and more of one than heaps.

    • Jim m

      April 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      He did take responsibility by calling the referees out for at least 4 non calls tonight. That is being a leader. How can you call the behavior childish? He didn’t run out on the field like baseball mangers do or start a fight like hockey players do. He just stated the obvious. Some one has too.

    • Adrian

      April 9, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      It’s not childish to point out obvious errors. 3 big errors (missed red, two missed PKs) and all benefited the opposition. What is the point of these post-game interviews if not to get his opinion? And how can he not have an opinion on massive game-changing errors by the referees?

  2. BWG

    April 10, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Childish is blaming every loss and draw on errors by the officials and not ever taking responsibility for the tream play. Here’s an idea, work to identify why we are experience a dearth of scoring rather then putting the onus on the officials. If something goes wrong during the run of play file formal complaints with the league and PRO after the game. If asked about it say no comment we will review the film and decide how to approach it with the league after review. Say you would rather focus on the teams performance than the officials because that is what is in your control. Not sure why calling Heaps out for repeated public comments like this is perceived to be incorrect. If down behind clapped doors and not publicly embarrassing every official he is more likely to get the benefit of the calls by doing what he does the benefit of the doubt will be suspend for the Revs and it also distracts from the real problems on this team. I have never seen a manager at the professional level as consistently negative to the officials as heaps. Plenty of coaches whining at the youth level.

    I watched the replays several times. Both PK calls were soft in my opinion. Referee was right to play the advantage on Koffie foul as we had the advantage.

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