The New England Revolution felt they were hard done by an MLS-record three penalty kicks awarded to New York City FC in a 4-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, according to head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena.
“Somebody owes our players and coaches an apology,” Arena said in a post-match press conference. “I'm waiting to hear that.”
The Revs conceded all three penalties in the first half, which saw defender Andrew Farrell sent off on a straight red card on the third penalty referee Tim Ford awarded in a wild opening 45 minutes.
Farrell also conceded the foul on the first PK, converted by Talles Magno to give NYCFC a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
“Well, it certainly wasn’t good,” Arena said of Farrell's performance. “We’ll leave it at that. What more can I say?”
Henry Kessler was ruled to have fouled Taty Castellanos on the second PK, one saved by goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, who was a bright spot on the day. But the center back was perplexed by that call and the one Castellanos converted just before halftime.
“Questionable to say the least,” Kessler said. “I don't think it was a penalty, and I don't think the third one was either. The first one I thought was. The next two I didn't think were penalties.”
“I think everyone saw what happened except for the referee,” Kessler added on the PK he conceded. “So I don't know how he came to the call that he came to.”
Arena lauded the Revs' fight, especially when trailing and down a man in the second half. Both Arena and Kessler believe New England should have been awarded a PK in the second half, but that wasn’t given.
Moments later, Castellanos bagged his brace, scoring his league-leading 12th goal of the season to put the game away. Gustavo Bou scored twice for New England on the road in consolation.
“I honestly think we had a chance to get a point,” Kessler said. “There was a time when DeJuan [Jones] went down in the box and then they score their fourth goal, but from my point of view, it looked like he got fouled. So then that gives us a penalty with a chance to tie the game.”
Added Arena: “I thought our team played really well. I really do. The heart they showed in the second half was remarkable. And actually we had a chance to make it 3-3 if they gave the penalty kick on DeJuan. At 3-2 we had a chance to get a penalty and they went down the other end and scored. So I just give our guys a lot of credit.”