Peter Vermes headed the question off a split second after it was asked.
For the third time in five games, Sporting Kansas City had finished a match with 10 men. And for the third time in five games, Sporting had dropped three points after finding themselves on the wrong end of a questionable red card.
What had once appeared to be at most a genuine chance for an impressive road victory and at the very least an opportunity for a valuable point ended as a demoralizing 3-2 defeat against the New England Revolution Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
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And cognizant of the consequences of his words, Vermes didn’t want to discuss the elephant in the room and, by association, debutant Aurélien Collin’s dismissal.
“I’m not commenting on those guys tonight,” Vermes said regarding the performance of the referees. “We’ve just got to work harder, get better and that’s really it.”
The defeat was made all the more frustrating because Kansas City matched New England blow for blow for the better part of 75 minutes on a soggy night in Foxboro, Mass., only to come up empty.
Benny Feilhaber set up Marko Perovic for the opening goal on his debut after 12 minutes, but Kei Kamara answered back with a bit of his own individual brilliance just two minutes later.
Both sides then traded penalty shouts before Kamara put the visitors up 2-1 from the spot in the 69th minute, only for Shalrie Joseph to tie the game three minutes later.
Then came the controversy thanks to a scrum in the goalmouth.
Collin, who had already received a yellow card in the first half, challenged Matt Reis for a cross into the box, rising high to meet the ball but losing out to Reis and colliding with the Revs goalkeeper. As both players remained tangled on the ground, Feilhaber hurried to the scene and stood over Collin before his teammates arrived to help the newly signed defender to his feet.
As they did, Feilhaber stood face to face with Collin, leading to a shove that referee Edvin Jurisevic deemed worthy of an ejection for the French center back despite the fact that it appeared Birahim Diop was the guilty party on replays.
And with Sporting reeling from yet another momentum-shifting ejection, Rajko Lekic delivered the hammer blow a few minutes later, nodding a powerful header past Jimmy Nielsen to secure all three points for the Revs and hand Kansas City (1-3-1) a third loss and a spot at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
“I thought there were some really good pieces of the game for us tonight,” Vermes said. “We created some very good chances. I thought at times we defended very well, especially when we had 11 men on the field. After that, the game changed.”