Nov 23, 2014; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry (14) and New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones (13) attempt to head the ball during the first half of the Eastern Conference Championship at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
In the 26th minute of the first leg of the Eastern Conference Finals, Jermaine Jones made an absolutely reckless challenge of the Red Bulls’ Dax McCarty. Jones only received a yellow card for his tackle, but it should have been a straight red and an early shower for him. Jones recklessly left his feet after losing the ball and lunged at Dax with both feet, taking him down.
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Jones was battling to keep possession of the ball before Dax McCarty stepped in and took it. Jones then lunged with two feet at Dax with studs out and in a scissor like motion wrapped his legs around Dax garnering the foul. It was extremely reckless, and Jones should have been sent off. There is really no doubt about that. The referee was inconsistent at points throughout the match, and this was one of those points.
There are usually fouls in every match that we can look at after and say that should have been a red or vice versa, and referees cannot see everything This foul was very obvious, though, just by the motion Jones did lunging into Dax’s legs like that. Not only that, but this bad non-call had a huge impact on the game which cannot be disregarded.
Aside from the fact that it was Jermaine Jones that scored the eventual game winner, this foul occurred very early on in the game, so it would have been hard for the Revolution to keep pace without Jones for three quarters of the game.
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For those who have been following Major League Soccer throughout the season know just how much of an impact Jermaine Jones has had on this team since his arrival in late August. This game was no different. The Red Bulls did well to contain Jones for the most part, but he still had a big influence in the center of the pitch and eventually scoring the game winner.
This non call allowed Jones to continue to control the center and get forward when needed. If the proper call was made and Jones received his deserved red card, the Revs would have been missing an instrumental piece of their midfield, not only for the rest of this game but for the next game as well which may have even been more important.
Referees will miss calls. That is a given, but when the call is as crucial as this, they just cannot be missed. No ref wants to be the one to send a player off in such a big game like this, but with a tackle like Jones made, sometimes that call just has to be made. The Revs got real lucky with this call.
Let us know what you think in the comments below! Do you think Jermaine Jones deserved to be sent off here?