Wayne Rooney produced a goal and an assist which kept United unbeaten on the season, but it was the foul that set up the Englishman’s goal that left a stinging burn for the Lions.
On the second D.C. goal scored by Rooney, O'Connor argues an "obvious" foul was committed on his goalkeeper Brian Rowe and that "everyone can see that it's a foul." Except the referee and Video Assistant Referee — who is looking for potential clear and obvious errors on match-changing incidents like goals — didn't feel the same way.
The Orlando City boss went on and pointed at past games where he felt officials didn’t meet expectations during controversial calls, referencing last season’s games against Columbus Crew SC and D.C., where he felt Luciano Acosta fouled Stefano Pinho before Rooney set-up a stoppage-time goal during a 3-2 win in August at Audi Field.
“Columbus away last year, D.C. in an incident, New York at the start of this year,” O'Connor said. “How many more times? The players go out and give an incredible second half performance – absolutely incredible. And yet we come off, and we lose the game again to no fault of our own. How many more times?”
Questions were submitted to referee Armando Villarreal about the foul from Dwyer and if there was intent on the play.
Villarreal responded: “Dwyer was called for carelessly attempting to kick an opponent and as such a direct free kick was awarded.”
Rooney, shortly after the match, was asked if he thought there was intent from Dwyer, and he agreed.
"I see him coming and I got out of the way because if I didn’t, it could’ve been a serious injury,” Rooney said. “As the referee said, it’s intent. I’m not stupid enough to stand in there and let him try to take my knee off.”