Bruce Arena rages against officials after defeat at the New York Red Bulls
The New England Revolution fell eight points adrift of FC Cincinnati at the top of the MLS Eastern Conference.
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena was left complaining about officials’ decision-making after his side lost ground in the race for the Eastern Conference title.
Arena’s side suffered a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, playing most of the second half with ten men after a red card to Latif Blessing.
In the post-match Arena questioned the decision to rule out a 93rd-minute strike that would have been an equaliser for the Revolution. Andrew Farrell’s long-range effort creeped past Carlos Coronel in the hosts’ net but the goal was disallowed after a VAR check for offside.
Revolution forward Giacomo Vrioni was clearly in an offside position when the shot was fired in. But Arena argued that the goalkeeper had no chance of saving the effort, regardless of Vrioni’s positioning.
“The ball was deflected by a Red Bull player, so the goal should’ve been good,” Arena said after the game.
“That’s my opinion of it. They said Vrioni was interfering with the goalkeeper. I think with the Red Bull player deflecting the ball, the goal should be allowed.”
Arena unhappy with officiating this season
After a deeply disappointing 2022 season, in which the Revolution failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018, Arena’s side are once challenging at the top this year.
With 37 points from 21 games the Revolution have the second best points-per-game in the Eastern Conference. However Arena told reporters on Saturday that he feels that his side have been unfairly treated by officials this year.
“That’s the third time this year we’ve had a goal taken away on a [VAR] interpretation,” Arena said.
“Latif’s red was pretty soft,” he continued. “Obviously when you see the game that referee had, then nothing should surprise you.”
This is not the first time that Arena has aired grievances this season.
“I think our guys did a good job, played real hard,” Arena said after conceding a late equaliser to Columbus Crew in April. “I think game management by the officiating crew and the VAR at the was very poor.”
“If they are going to use their phony baloney standard of clear and obvious, why would it take that long to decide it’s not a foul?” Arena asked. “It was obviously not clear and obvious if it takes you that long to come to that conclusion. Unless they see it otherwise. A poor job by the VAR.”
After taking just one point from their first two games this month, the Revolution will look to get back to winning ways against Atlanta United on Wednesday 12 July.