BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The play that led to Chicago Fire center back Arne Friedrich’s second yellow card in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps started with an errant backward pass from Chris Rolfe.
The ball fell to Camilo Sanvezzo’s feet, and the Brazilian played the ball through to forward Darren Mattocks. Friedrich (above), Mattocks and Austin Berry were in a shoulder-to-shoulder footrace, with Mattocks in the middle, and the Jamaican forward ended up tumbling to the ground.
WATCH: Friedrich's second yellow results in red
Friedrich was called for the foul, even though replays showed he didn’t initiate the contact.
“In my eyes, first it was a bad mistake in the midfield,” Friedrich said. “We lost the ball so easy. I thought – I didn’t see it again – I thought that me and Austin were running, and the striker was in between us and we were running altogether at the same speed. For me … everybody was a little bit [using] their arms, so for me it was not a yellow card. But it’s the referee’s decision, and I have to take it.”
Berry took the blame for initiating the contact.
“It was me, I had lowered my shoulder into him to stop the play,” Berry told MLSsoccer.com. “It was a split-decision call. It could have gone the other way, and it’s unfortunate that he came up and gave it to Arne.”
Mattocks given special attention
The Fire were well aware of Mattocks’ athleticism coming into the game, especially after the rookie’s amazing leaping goal in last Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Toronto.
Defenders were physical with the young Jamaican throughout the game, making contact with him every chance possible. Friedrich received both of his yellow cards for fouls against Mattocks.
“He’s shown how dangerous he can be when he gets in behind,” Berry said. “So I think we did a good job of keeping him in front of us except for a couple of plays.”
Friedrich saw the jumping ability, too. But he was quick to bring the rookie down to earth.
“Yeah he can jump high,” he said with a smile. “But we [can] too.”
Pardo celebrates with bench
After his 10th-minute goal on a well-placed free kick, Pável Pardo ran across the field all the way to the Fire bench to celebrate with his teammates.
WATCH: Pardo curls in golazo
“When I scored I went to celebrate with [Rafael] Robayo and [Federico] Puppo because before the game talking to them, Puppo told me that I was going to score on a free kick,” Pardo told FutbolMLS.com. “So when I did, I looked for them first to celebrate.”