New England Revolution coach Bruce Arena slams NYCFC's 'bad baseball field' after Yankee Stadium ...

Sunday, July 10, 2022

New EnglandRevolution coach Bruce Arena was critical of the field surface, timing of the match and officiating after New York City FC was awarded a Major League Soccer record three penalty kicks in the first half and won 4-2 to stop the Revolution's 10-game league unbeaten streak.

Valentin Castellanos scored twice and took over the MLS scoring lead with 12 goals. Gustavo Bou scored twice for the Revolution, who played a man short at Yankee Stadium after Andrew Farrell's 41st-minute red card.

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"There was a chance that we could have had a good game today despite the fact we were playing on a bad baseball field that was supposed to be a soccer field, and we're scheduling games at 1 o'clock in the afternoon in July," Arena said. "But we had two good teams. There was a chance of having a real good game, and unfortunately, that was not the case."

The game-time temperature was 83 degrees and the sun was out.

It is not the first time that Arena, who grew up in New York as a Yankees fan, has criticized NYCFC playing at the famed MLB stadium.

"Yankee fans can't be happy a soccer team's playing in their stadium," Arena said in 2016. "To be honest, I can't wait for the day that they have a stadium for that [soccer] team.

"It makes no sense that that they're playing at Yankee Stadium."

NYCFC have called Yankee Stadium home since the team entered MLS in 2015, with hopes of building a soccer-specific stadium in the five boroughs failing to come to fruition. On a number of occasions, when the stadium has been in use by the Yankees, NYCFC have had to play at the New York Mets' Citi Field and even at Red Bull Arena, the home of their rivals the New York Red Bulls.

Arena's views on Saturday's playing surface were shared by New England defender DeJuan Jones.

"It's very tough, especially the side of the field where the mound is for baseball. It's definitely tough to get your footing, a lot of guys were slipping and sliding around out there," he said.

"Yeah, definitely not the best conditions, but both teams had to play for 90 minutes, and they got the better of us today. I mean, when [NYCFC] get the ball at midfield, they can easily play in behind. The field is a little bit smaller, so definitely tough circumstances. But at the end of the day, we didn't get the job done."

Asked if NYCFC's three penalties were legitimate, Arena replied with a simple "no" before later claiming his club were owed an apology.

"I thought our team played really well. I really do," he said. "The heart they showed in the second half was remarkable and actually, we had a chance to make it three to three if they gave the penalty kick on DeJuan. There's a chance we had at three to two, we had a chance to get a penalty and they went down to the other end and scored. So, I just give our guys a lot of credit. Somebody owes our players and coaches an apology. I'm waiting to hear that."

Revs defender Henry Kessler was similarly unimpressed with the officiating.

"Questionable to say the least," he said of the three decisions. "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."

New England had four wins and six draws since an April 23 loss to D.C. United. The 10-game unbeaten run was one shy the team record set in 2005 and matched in 2019.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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