New England Revolution captain Carles Gil, after his team’s 3-2 home loss Saturday evening to Real Salt Lake, expressed great displeasure that the game was played whatsoever.
Snowy conditions turned the cross-conference match into a slugfest at Gillette Stadium, and it seemed like the defending Supporters’ Shield winners were cruising to a comfortable 2-0 victory. But then the Claret & Cobalt rattled off three unanswered goals from the 78th minute onward, stunning the hosts.
With emotions running high, Gil didn’t hold back postgame, even suggesting the game should have been delayed.
“It's impossible to play football today,” the reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP award winner told the local broadcast crew. “I cannot talk with my teammates, I cannot run, I cannot do anything. It's impossible, this is not football. Stop the f---ing game. We play tomorrow or any other day, I don't care. This is not football, it's impossible. Try to make long balls, the wind, it's impossible. I don't understand nothing.”
Would the result have changed Gil’s opinion? Not quite, he contends.
“If we finish the game 2-0, I say here the same,” the 29-year-old Spaniard said. “It's not football, it's impossible to play like this. Congratulations for Real Salt Lake because they are amazing playing, you know. But I don't understand why we play today like we play. We lose one game because we lose a game, for us, for them, for the soccer, for the fans, for everything.”
Asked about Gil’s remarks in his postgame press conference, Revolution head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena didn’t quite go to that extreme on a game that required orange balls for visibility and proactive turf clearance to prevent snow buildup, especially in the first half.
“Games have been played in the snow, so I can’t argue that,” Arena said. “What do you take away from it? Probably you have to have better concentration at the end of the game and certainly on a day like today, there’s going to be mistakes made in the penalty area. And for us to have a combination of mistakes like that at the end of the game is inexcusable, but it certainly wasn’t a soccer game today. But, you know, both teams played under the same conditions, so give them credit.”
HIGHLIGHTS: New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake | March 12, 2022
However the debate unfolds, the simple truth is New England suffered their first defeat of the 2022 campaign and have seen momentum dented ahead of a midweek trip to Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM. On Wednesday, they’ll head to Mexico City for a Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series second leg, already holding a 3-0 aggregate lead.
And for defender A.J. DeLaGarza, they’ll need to regroup and move on.
“The worst conditions I’ve ever played in, in my entire life – the wind, the snow, the ice,” DeLaGarza said. “But at the end of the day, those are all excuses and we had a chance to win and we blew it in the last 15 minutes.”
Carles Gil & Bruce Arena on conditions in New England vs. RSL