Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin frustrated by "key non-calls" in draw

ORLANDO – Jim Curtin picked his words very carefully after seeing his Philadelphia Union team pick up a 2-2 draw from a highly-charged game at Orlando City that had some wild swings in momentum – and officiating.

While the home team picked up five cards, including a late red for defender David Mateos, it was two non-calls that had the Union head coach most concerned in his postgame comments, including a penalty claim in the 61st minute when Warren Creavalle appeared to be felled by Mateos.

“I thought at 1-0 [in our favor] the game changed on the non-PK call,” Curtin said after the game. “Mistakes are going to happen by referees, we accept that, but the game changed after that. What happened with Warren was embarrassing. That was a PK and a red card, and it would have helped us for sure.

“But I give my guys a lot of credit on the night. They showed a lot of character to come back from 2-1 down. This is a tough place to play and they are a strong team, one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. The tendency for [visiting] teams is to shrink in the circumstances. Instead we responded well, got our goal and pushed the game towards the end.”

Curtin also had reservations about Orlando’s second goal, when Kaká seemed to get away with a push on Keegan Rosenberry before crossing for Cyle Larin to notch his seventh goal of the season from close range.

“[The referee] was a long way from the play, and keeping up with things is difficult, so it was hard to judge, but we thought it was another key non-call,” Curtin added. “I think he just had an off night. That is the honest way to put it.”

Curtin was much happier with the forward play of Swiss ace Tranquillo Barnetta, who scored the first and then put in the cross which led to substitute Ken Tribbett notching his first MLS goal for the equalizer.

“Tranquillo’s class speaks for itself,” the coach said.. “He is the ideal modern Number 10. They only have to go to sleep for one second [on defense], and he gets his chances. He led us and had some really good plays tonight."