On Sunday in New England, the Philadelphia Union suffered their most lopsided loss in franchise history.
And yet, despite the barrage of goals in an ugly 5-1 loss to the Revolution at Gillette Stadium, the Union couldn’t help thinking about two that were taken away.
Early in the second half, after Danny Cruz drew Philly even at 1-1 with an impressive equalizer, Sebastien Le Toux had a potential go-ahead goal disallowed for being offside in the 53rd minute, shortly before Conor Casey pounced on a loose ball in front of Revs goalie Matt Reis and blasted it into the net. But that goal too was waved off after referee Allen Chapman ruled Casey interfered with Reis.
From there, the momentum completely shifted and the wheels came off for the Union, who had never lost by four goals and had only given up five goals once before since coming into the league in 2010.
“We felt like we did all the right things coming out of the locker room and had the momentum to get the equalizer,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “And we felt like we had the go-ahead goal – twice – and for whatever reason the officials felt otherwise. It’s incredibly hard to take that part of it because it changes so much.”
Replays indicate that the first controversial call was a good one but that the second one was not. The ball appeared to be loose and not in Reis' control when it found the foot of Casey, who quickly became irate that what would have been his 10th goal of the season was disallowed.
“I think calling back that second goal – Conor’s goal – was unfair to us,” said Cruz, who scored his own goal off a great feed from Casey. “We worked very hard to get in that position we were in. And unfortunately I feel like the referee was very one-sided and that goal kind of epitomized the night for us.”
Cruz also credited the Revs for scoring some beauties while bemoaning that the Union are “better than what we were tonight.”
Hackworth, too, was mystified with all that went wrong in New England, which not only included four unanswered Revolution goals in the second half but also an early ankle injury to Keon Daniel and two yellow cards on Amobi Okugo, who will have to miss his first game of the season next week.
“It was a strange, strange night,” Hackworth said. “We’re just left wondering how at this level some of that can happen.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.