The New England Revolution soundly defeated the Columbus Crew in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While Columbus looked to bounce back after a disappointing first leg result, they were wrongly penalized by the center referee twice. It didn’t directly affect the scoreline, but it’s still an unbdeserved card giving by the official.
The first play we are going to look at is Ethan Finaly’s run into the box. He makes contact with Bobby Shuttleworth’s head, but it was nothing close to dangerous or egregious. In fact, it appears Shuttleworth ran into Finlay, not the other way around.
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It’s understandable to care about player safety, especially when it comes to goalie safety. However, Finlay’s play was not outside the rules of the game, nor did it put Shuttleworth at risk. Shuttleworth dove to protect the lead and the ball and put himself at risk. It was incidental contact that wasn’t intentional. Finlay didn’t kick at Shuttleworth’s head; His shin/ankle area contacted his head injury.
Furthermore, New England Revolution’s Jermain Jones should have been shown at least a yellow card for grabbing at Finlay’s jersey. His action’s are not apart of the game and should be punished.
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Likewise, the Revolution have no right in confronting Finlay after the “non-threatening” play. If anything, Finlay was more at danger by the Revolution’s immature actions post-play. The Revolution were more concerned in intimidating Finlay than they were about their own goalie’s safety. It took a Columbus Crew player to wave on the trainer so that Shuttleworth could get assistance.
In no manner was Finlay’s action red card worthy. It could understandably be called a foul or even a yellow card. However, a red card was not needed and unfairly put the Crew down a man for the remainder of the game.
The Crew were already in a deep enough hole, and it looked unlikely they were even going to win. Yet, Ethan Finlay did not deserve a red card and the league’s disciplinary committee should rescind his red card and one-game suspension that carries over to the 2015 season. Likewise, they should fine Jones and other Revolution players for their physical and out-of-line actions after the play.
Columbus Crew spoke about the incident post-game and had this to say.