If the New England Revolution carries its current form into the playoffs, Coach Steve Nicol faces a long winter with no games and nothing to complain about. So he made sure to let off some final regular-season steam at referee Kevin Stott after the Revs lost 3-1 at home to Kansas City on Saturday. They lost two players to red cards as well, meaning that the dismissed Khano Smith and Gabriel Badilla will be suspended for the opening playoff game against Chicago Thursday.
Badilla was sent off after pulling down the Wizards' Claudio Lopez in the penalty area in the 26th minute. Stott awarded a penalty, and showed Badilla red. "You can argue that it is a penalty, that it isn't a penalty, but, for me, the referee shows a complete lack of understanding in the situation," said Nicol. "To send Badilla off just shows a lack of understanding and we really shouldn't be too surprised because the last time Kevin Stott was here, he did the exact same thing [sending off Shalrie Joseph]."
Nicol had no complaints about Smith's red card just before halftime ("Yeah, it was reckless"), awarded for a two-footed challenge on Hercules Gomez. Gomez had made the tackle earlier this month that ended Steve Ralston's season the last time the two teams met. New England's Joseph, who was booked for dissent after arguing with Stott over Smith's red, made no secret of the fact that it was a revenge-motivated challenge.
"I mean, the guy ended Ralston's regular season, and then he didn't get a yellow, he didn't get suspended or fined or nothing," Joseph told Monique Walker. "So we know coming in [Saturday] that we definitely wanted to give him payback and make him know we didn't appreciate what he did to Ralston, our teammate."
Plenty there for that august body of wise men, the MLS Disciplinary Committee, to ponder in the coming week.