WAYNE, Pa. – Following last Saturday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes, Philadelphia Union players couldn’t believe the harsh red card given to Jordan Harvey wouldn’t be reviewed and overturned.
Since then, however, frustration and anger over the call has seemed to turn into resigned acceptance. And during his weekly press conference Wednesday, team manager Peter Nowak confirmed the club decided not to appeal the red card, meaning Harvey will indeed be suspended for Friday’s game against Portland (10:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
“We tried to manage this from the standpoint that league rules and regulations require certain things,” Nowak said. “We’ve been in the same boat as other teams. There was nothing we could do about it. … I know Jordan wasn’t at fault, but this is an automatic suspension.”
Harvey has also come to terms with the suspension, although it’s still an upsetting situation. On Wednesday, the Union left fullback confirmed what most fans could see from the replay – that his leg simply got tangled with San Jose’s Chris Leitch and that there was nothing malicious about the play that led to the referee’s whistle.
Still, Harvey knows his coaches did everything they could to stand up for him.
“I spoke with the coaching staff and they said they spoke with league officials, and the head of officiating informed them it wouldn’t be overturned had it been appealed because it’s a referee’s decision and we have to respect that,” said Harvey, who was unavailable for comment following Saturday’s game. “In the rules, it doesn’t get overturned unless it’s a mistaken identity case.
“You can look at my track record,” he continued. “I don’t get many cards. I don’t foul many people. I’m a clean player. So that’s the disappointing part, that he didn’t realize that and I was kind of the scapegoat.”
Harvey added that it will be difficult for him to watch the game from home. It will also be difficult for the Union to replace the only player who’s played every game in franchise history and has been a steadying presence on the squad’s stellar backline.
Nowak indicated either of the team’s twin brothers, Michael and Gabriel Farfan, could start in Harvey’s place against the Timbers. Michael played a strong 45 minutes against the Earthquakes at left back, while Gabriel, who’s set to return from a toe injury, also has experience at the position.
“We have a little competition going on there,” Nowak said of the rookie brothers. “It’s good for the team. Both will travel and both will be ready to play.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaveZeitlin.