First Impressions -- New England Revolution 2 : 1 D.C. United
I have generally been impressed by the jobs of the center officials in MLS this season. While there have been quibbles and complaints, for the most part the officiating has been iffy at worst, and more often than not decent.
Which is why I hope that Hilario Grajeda was misled by his AR on an atrocious penalty kick decision. If the AR said he saw the foul in the box, then the Center Official should give lee way to that call. It doesn't matter if the AR apparently has the eyesight of a guacomic puffer-fish, supposedly he has the angle.
And it was on a travesty of a penalty kick call that New England won this match. To be fair, Bryan Namoff helped things along. His reaction to Taylor Twellman going down in the box in front of him was that of a blood covered throwing away a knife when the constable walks in the door. "A body? What body? Oh, that body! It was here when I got here. So was the knife. And that letter that says 'I'll get you Mr. Twel, see if I don't!' I'M NOT GUILTY!!!"
And while New England undoubtedly stole this match, they at least brought the lockpicks with them for most of the second half, and United did put a pile of money in the front window under the lamp before casually announcing "We'll be out for the next forty-five minutes, I sure hope no one takes this" and then strolling away.
Still, why I can rationalize that New England certainly had the second half far more their way than United had the first half in its favor, it doesn't feel that way at a visceral level. This feels like a match taken and gift-wrapped for the other team. I laugh when I hear stories from Europe of referees being smuggled out of the country after a controversial call, but a game like this makes me feel a bit more sympathy for the hooligans and has me checking the major thoroughfares out of Foxboro.
What a punch in the balls.