By Mary Cunningham
The Union became the latest MLS team to be dealt a game-altering ejection for a two-footed tackle last night when Philly played the final 38 minutes a man down after midfielder Roland Aberg was issued a second yellow card by referee Drew Fischer for a tackle on Seattle’s Cristian Roldan in the 52nd minute.
The Union would manage to score a shorthanded goal in the 73rd minute thanks to a finish from Sebastien Le Toux but couldn’t manage to find an equalizer in their 2-1 loss at Seattle to the Sounders.
“It’s a recurring theme in MLS right now,” Union coach Jack Curtin said. “We’ve talked with our guys about staying on our feet to try and avoid these things. We still pushed, still fought, I thought we had a lot of the ball and created some chances. But in the big moments we came up a little bit short.”
Curtin said he felt that both yellows on Alberg were soft. However, he also didn’t express shock by the call, saying that it is incumbent on his team to adjust to how the games are going to be officiated.
“Once you leave your feet, in MLS 2016, they’re going to make a decision one way or the other,” Curtin said. “We’ve talked with our guys a lot about that. Leave your feet to maybe block a shot, that’s about it.”
All things considered, however, Curtin says he is pleased with how his side has handled a difficult early-season schedule that has seen them play four out of six matches on the road. The Union are now 3-3-0 and in second place in the Eastern Conference through six games.
“We’ve started with a difficult schedule with four out of six on the road,” Curtin said. “We’re not happy with where we are but we got through a difficult stretch pretty well. Now, we go home for three in a row.”