New England Revolution head coach Caleb Porter walks off the...

New England Revolution head coach Caleb Porter walks off the field at the end of an MLS soccer match against Toronto FC, Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP/Mark Stockwell

NEW YORK — New England Revolution coach Caleb Porter was fined by Major League Soccer on Friday for criticizing the replacement officials who worked his team's games while the unionized referees and assistants were locked out.

MLS did not announce the amount of the fine.

New England has the worst record in the 29-team league with four losses and one draw. The 49-year-old Porter, hired in December, spoke after Saturday's 1-1 tie against Chicago. He was angered by referee Kyle Johnston, who gave the Revolution's Carles Gil a yellow card for diving in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

"We haven’t received one big call, and we had a lot of calls against us and I think today was another day like that and I’m a bit tired of it, to be honest with you,” Porter said. “And I think it’s just a lack of respect, and especially when Carles was in on a break for us to score what I believe to be the game-winning goal, and he's one of the best players in the league, and the guy just kills the play and at a minimum it's a foul — in my view it's a foul and a yellow card because he's killing the play and the referee doesn’t even call a foul.

"I don’t know how that happens. It's just shocking. And then they have the exact same play on the other sideline and the linesman raises his flag and it's actually a lot softer, that call, than the one on our side.”

Regular MLS officials were locked out for 37 days before the announcement of a seven-year labor contract Tuesday. They are set to return this weekend. Replacement officials were used in the first 69 games over the opening five weeks of this season.

“When we have both coaches livid and all the players, 22 players livid, you know that's a poor game by the official,” Porter said.

Porter said teams had been instructed not to comment about the replacement officials.

“They don’t let us talk to them. When we do, we get fined or we get warned or reprimanded,” Porter said. “We can't say anything to them. I’ll probably be fined for even mentioning it right now, but don’t care because I got to protect my team and something needs to be done about it.”

The MLS competition manual states “public criticism” is “conduct that is detrimental to the public image and reputation of MLS and/or the club. Such behavior is subject to discipline by the commissioner or his designee.”

Los Angeles FC coach Steve Cherundolo was fined $10,000 by Major League Soccer on March 6 for complaining when the previous weekend’s game against Salt Lake was played amid snow and lightning.

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