Union coach Jim Curtin says team is "gutted" after red card halts momentum

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.—Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin lamented the red card decision against defender Warren Creavalle that stymied his side's momentum as they dropped a 1-0 decision to the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Toyota Park.

On what the former Fire player described as a “typical spring day in Chicago,” Philadelphia hit the woodwork three times before Creavalle was shown a red card for reckless tackle on Razvan Cocis two minutes into the second half.

Four minutes later, Kennedy Igboananike gave the hosts a lead they would never relinquish to record their first win of the season.

“Our guys are gutted just because they put a lot into the game and to have that little bit of momentum and then all of a sudden the sending-off obviously changes the game,” Curtin said.

Despite picking up a yellow card in the 13th minute, Creavalle had been adjusting well to his role in the Union’s defensive midfield in the absence of the injured Vincent Nogueira. But despite warnings to be careful from Curtin and the coaching staff,” Creavalle was shown a straight red by referee Silviu Petrescu following a dangerous, lunging tackle on Cocis.

“We’re still trying to figure out if he gave a straight red,” Curtin said. “Obviously he was on a yellow, we talked to Warren about being careful and not leaving his feet, so it was a little bit silly in that area of the field, I think he should just let him turn there and we live to fight another day.

“But he goes in, mistimes it, I haven’t seen the replay, so I won’t really comment on it, but it looks like they gave a straight red, so it’s disappointing from that regard. But these are the decisions that are made, we have to live with, there’s going to be good calls, not-so-good calls, and you have to live with it.”