New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo

After each match the contributors to New England Soccer Today will rate the performances of the New England Revolution players who made an appearance on a 1 to 10 scale (1 horrendous, 5 average, 10 perfection). This week Sean Donahue and Brian O’Connell contributed ratings for the New England Revolution’s 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Matt Reis – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6)
Had a stellar night between the pipes, even in light of the last-gasp goal. But it a stupid red after the game concluded means he won’t be available on Saturday. (Brian) … Postgame unnecessary red card soiled what was otherwise a fantastic night for the ‘keeper. Would’ve easily been Man of the Match if not for the red. (Sean)

A.J. Soares was our Man of the Match for his solid performance in defense on Wednesday night. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

Darrius Barnes – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 6, Sean 5)
Played well on the left thwarted Je-Vaughn Watson for much of evening (Brian) … Had a solid game defensively, but passing was poor at times and was beaten by Costly on the Dynamo’s goal. (Sean)

Ryan Cochrane – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Fortuitous goal gave the Revs confidence early, but took a knock late and had to be subbed. Overall, above-average performance. (Brian) … In the right place for the Revs early goal and had a fairly solid game, but was beaten to the ball on a few set pieces allowing the Dynamo to get shots on goal.

A.J. Soares – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 6.5, Sean 7)
Most dependable defender on the pitch; did well to snuff out many of the Dynamo set pieces. (Brian) … Hard to find much fault in the rookie’s performance. Didn’t concede any set pieces and held up well under near constant pressure. (Sean)

Kevin Alston – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 6, Sean 4.5)
Banged up right back tracked back well, nice stop off the line in the first half, but just seemed to get antsy once he entered the final third. (Brian) … Nice block on the line, but caught ball watching on a great chance for Cameron in the 56th minute and needs to be much more effective in the offensive third considering how much he ventures forward. (Sean)

Chris Tierney – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Service from set pieces was decent and aided the defense when needed…which was often. (Brian) … Service was solid on the rare chances the Revs managed to get forward. Forced to spend most of the night defending. (Sean)

Benny Feilhaber – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Linked well with his wingers, and posed a threat on the counterattack all night. (Brian) … Lack of movement around Feilhaber made it harder for the U.S. International to be as influential as he can be. (Sean)

Shalrie Joseph – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Pair with Feilhaber in the center, wasn’t forced to try to do everything, and was his usual ballwinning self. (Brian) … Playing without Phelan or McCarthy meant more defensive duties for Joseph than normal this season and he looked capable and comfortable in the role. (Sean)

Zak Boggs – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 6, Sean 5)
One of his better games; crosses were better, and touch seemed to improve as the game progressed. (Brian) … Decent effort, but played too slow in the final third at times, allowing defenders to close in on him instead of crossing while he had space. (Sean)

Kenny Mansally – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Solid night up top with Caraglio, although some more off the ball movement would’ve been nice. (Brian) … Passing was good and lack of opportunities was a product of poor play around him, but needs to get better with shot selection. (Sean)

Milton Cariglio – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6)
Seemed to gel fairly well with Mansally, put one of the few Revs shots on frame. (Brian) … His blocked shot led to Cochrane’s goal. Good effort working for every 50/50 ball, but faded in the second half. (Sean)

(sub) Zack Schilawski – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Tried to get the engine fired up late, but really didn’t see many chances. (Brian) … Can’t fault him on effort, but Revs didn’t have the ball enough for him to see any chances. (Sean)

(sub) Pat Phelan – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 5, Sean 4)
Somewhat shaky in the rear, but the effort was there. (Brian) … Looked a bit rusty as a center back after being called in for emergency duty. Needlessly gave away a corner kick leading the Dynamo’s equalizer. (Sean)

(sub) Stephen McCarthy – Average Rating: 3.75 (Brian 4, Sean 3.5)
Not the best showing in his limited time on the pitch; proved to be liability late. (Brian) … Brought on to help shore up the team’s defensive effort, but didn’t make enough of an impact as the Revs failed to hold on to the shutout. Too many giveaways in his short appearance. (Sean)


  1. Kent Jones

    August 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Let’s go back to that Reis red card. I don’t think we should accept Kennedy’s invocation of the “abusive language” rule for a straight red card without further explanation. Recently there have been proposals for a systematic and open weekly review of referee decisions, and would like to apply that reasoning to the red card issued by Michael Kennedy to Matt Reis after the end of the Revs-Dynamo game.

    Kennedy offered no further explanation for his decision than to cite the hazy rule about “offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.” This is not good enough. Rarely do refs invoke this rule as justification for a straight red card, and for good reason. What did Reis say that rose to the level of a red card suspension? In this case, it happened at the very end of the game, and Kennedy waited until well after the game was over to announce the punishment.

    Whatever Reis said, it was evidently not so outrageous that Kennedy drew the red card on the field. Nothing that we could see from the replay indicated an infraction on Reis’ part that would have gone beyond a yellow card. And so we are left to speculate why Kennedy imposed such a severe penalty.

    In 2003, US Soccer’s Manager of Referee Development and Education Alfred Kleinaitis issued a memo on how referees should deal with players’ use of abusive language. In it, he calls for restraint and emphasizes the importance of maintaining the referee’s ability to manage the rest of the game:

    When the words or gestures directly challenge the authority of the referee or assistant referees, actively dispute an official’s decision, or are likely to be taken up by a widening circle of other players, the referee must determine if this dissent can be halted through the more formal action of cautioning the player and displaying the yellow card. The objective of the caution for dissent or unsporting behavior (in the case of language which is not dissent but which falls short of deserving a red card), is to protect the referee’s ability to continue to manage the match. Based on the standards MLS refs are presumably expected to maintain, it seems that the threshold level of abusive language would have to be particularly high in Reis’ case, especially since the ref would not need to deal with the aftermath of the verbal exchange in managing the game, since it was over.

    If Reis made a threat of physical harm or injury to either Moffat (the Dyanamo player) or Kennedy, I would understand the decision. But Kennedy needs to explain his actions, after choosing to punish Reis (and his team) with a suspension for a rule that is so rarely used, which does not result in danger or injury to players (the usual motivation for red cards) and which is not possible to monitor or review with a replay of the incident.

    Otherwise one can imagine that Kennedy is using his authority to “send a message,” or “teach Reis a lesson” for, perhaps, Reis’ editorial comments on Kennedy’s management of the match (which was poor), and not for his language as such. The red card then becomes all about Kennedy, and not about protecting the integrity of the game. Would any other ref that the supreme Mr. Kennedy have gone this far?

    If you sit close to the field, you’ll hear language during the entire match that most observers would regard as offensive, insulting and abusive, much of it directed against the assistant referees, and none of which results in even a yellow card. Trash talking between opposing players is almost completely unregulated. Now Reis gets a red card for an unexplained used of bad language, which can only infuriate fans and call into question the fairness of the referee.


    • Sean Donahue

      August 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      While the report cited “abusive language”, I think there was more to it than that. Reis shoved Moffat, which may not have warranted a red in itself, but it appeared to me he got in another shove afterwards, which at least from my angle seemed to be directed at one of the referees (I’m not ready to state this as fact without seeing a replay because admittedly my angle wasn’t fantastic). Some of us were surprised not to see a red card on the spot and expected a suspension after the fact. For better or worse, Kennedy decided not to issue one immediately and instead conferred with his assistants and coaches from both teams before eventually coming to the conclusion. At least from what I saw, I really can’t dispute the red, though the justification could use clarification.

  2. rick sewall

    August 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The Revs are losing, and they should everything possible to win. This includes a change of behavior toward the referees. Coaches yelling at linesmen [and the refs], player trashtalk and bad language toward each other and the refs , all this thing has to go if they decide to concentrate on what is important in soccer, defending, scoring, and ball possession. Where is the positive attitude of Taylor Twellman? I am convinced that most players cannot worry about the refs and play to their potential. My message? Forget the referees and focus totally on the game. Maybe they will sneak in a win.

  3. rick sewall

    August 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Kent Jones long discussion concerning Reis’s red card means that the obsession on referee questionable calls continues, an obsession that can hurt the Revs if they have a similar mindset, and I think they do., because It takes their focus away from the game . I think that everyplayer, even professionals, should be told the obvious, that bad and questionable ref calls are part of the game, and they may be questioned only with a courteous attitude. I can’t believe the Reis red card. Absolutely inexcusable. After the game you go to the locker room,take a shower, go home , and worry about the next game. Stay away from the opposition except to shake hands. It reminds me of the great Walter Zenga., a coach who was a terrible example.

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