New England Soccer Today

Heaps: ‘Referee was Over His Head’

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When referee Alan Chapman pointed to the penalty spot in the 29th minute, it wasn’t a unfamiliar scene for the Revolution.

Not because the Revs had been called for penalties four times before this season, but rather because Chapman has a history of calling them against New England.

Including New England’s 2-1 loss against Vancouver on Saturday night, Chapman has called for four penalty kicks for opponents in the last three games that Chapman had been the head ref for Revolution games.

In July of 2014, Chapman awarded Real Salt Lake a pair of penalty kicks, both of which were converted in Salt Lake’s 2-1 win, with head coach Jay Heaps noting they were “made up.” Earlier this season, Chapman whistled Jose Goncalves for a foul on Dom Dwyer just inside the area when it looked like very minimal contact with Dwyer’s back to goal.

On Saturday night, Revs defender Andrew Farrell saw a straight red card after Jordan Harvey sent a through ball to a sprinting Cristian Techera. Farrell appeared to get his arm tangled with Techera just outside the area and then the Whitecaps’ midfielder tumbled into the box. Octavio Rivero covered the penalty for Vancouver.

With now four penalties called against New England, it’s tied for the most he’s called against a team with Real Salt Lake.

“Obviously we were disappointed that it was a red card, penalty maybe but it is what it is,” Heaps said on the play before turning his attention to Chapman. “I thought our guys were obviously fired up because of the inconsistency being called. Not so much the one or two plays that changed the game from a referee standpoint but there’s inconsistency. You know yellow card for Diego, those are frustrating as a player when there’s inconsistency and [Matias] Laba’s allowed to challenge people and you just want to play fair. Two teams that actually like each other, to have eight cards is difficult on the players and on the teams but I thought our players did a really good job of not getting another red card before half and then coming out and showing poise and try to get the game back one by one.”

Farrell first saw yellow in the 20th minute, getting called for a foul on Rivero. His red card came in the 29th minute. Diego Fagundez and Teal Bunbury got first half yellow cards for New England while Jordan Harvey, Darren Mattocks, Steven Beitashour and Nicolas Mezquida all got yellow cards for Vancouver.

“It was more tactical at halftime and then the emotional motivational side was really to be smart and not let this guy give out another card or another red card because obviously he’s inconsistent and you don’t know what an inconsistent referee is going to do,” Heaps said of what was talked about at half. “You have to be smart. We talked to Diego at halftime specifically, we took London at halftime because he’s on yellow card watch. Next week without Farrell we had to be smart with where we were. That’s being absolutely having no idea what the referee is going to call in the second half. Having absolutely no idea what a foul is, what a yellow card is and where the game is going to be called.

“I thought four or five calls that went against us, went for us I couldn’t tell you which way he was blowing the whistle. I honestly couldn’t tell you. That’s sad. I’ve been in this league for 15 years and I can see a play and I’ve never seen so many times when I said ‘Which way is it?’ and that’s a bad, bad situation. We’ve been around the game around a long time and those are the decisions being made and it’s mind boggling.”

In total, Chapman called 32 fouls in the 90 minutes – 17 against New England and 15 against Vancouver. And it wasn’t just the whistles Heaps was complaining about, there were non-calls that had him unsure of what to expect next as well.

“I felt a little bad for Teal because I thought he was working so hard and getting zero reward,” Heaps said. “He was getting kicked, right in front of us he got absolutely two footed, he has studs on his leg and there was no call and I still don’t know how there wasn’t a call.”

After the game, Bunbury offered no comment on the referee.

Just after the final whistle blew, Heaps quickly made his way from the bench to the far side of the field where players and the refs were meeting.

“Get the guys away from the referee,” Heaps said of why he rushed across the pitch. “I know how it is as a competitor. Quite frankly, I think the referee was over his head tonight. And you get that situation and you want the players to get away with him. The game was over so nothing was going to be solved. I just wanted them away. I didn’t want anyone, Teal or Diego, guys with yellow cards to pick up another yellow for saying something.”

When asked if there was more emphasis on Chapman being the referee, Heaps said, “You try not to overthink it but having had so many penalty kicks, maybe that played into Farrell’s head a little bit. We didn’t emphasize it too much we just said play your game but maybe next time we have to do it even more.”

New England’s record with Chapman as the referee now stands at 2-6 overall.

Leave a Reply