CHESTER, Pa. — Keegan Rosenberry’s season has ended a couple of days before his team’s.
On Thursday, Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin announced at his weekly press conference that Rosenberry will be suspended for Sunday’s 2017 finale vs. Orlando City SC at Talen Energy Stadium (4 pm ET, MLS LIVE) due to conduct on social media.
The since-deleted tweet in question, which came shortly before kick off of the Union’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire last Sunday, shows a photo of the second-year right back sitting on the bench with an unhappy look on his face below the words “need some caption help.”
Rosenberry, who made the trip to Chicago as part of the team’s 18-man lineup, did not appear in the game.
“His activity on social media prior to kick off was inappropriate and something that won’t be tolerated,” Curtin said. “It’s a decision he made and one that he’ll be held accountable for. [It was] unprofessional and also disrespectful to the guys in the locker room. He’s a great young player who I think will learn from this but, as professionals, we’re held to a higher standard and to do it right before kick off is not something [sporting director Earnie Stewart] and I will tolerate.”
The suspension caps a brutal second season in MLS for Rosenberry, who burst onto the scene as one of the league’s best young players as a rookie. But after playing all 3,060 minutes last year — the only player in the league to do so — while earning a spot in the 2016 All-Star Game and a US national team call-up, the ex-Georgetown standout was benched for inconsistent play seven games into the ’17 season.
With veteran Ray Gaddis supplanting him at right back, Rosenberry then didn’t start for 20 consecutive games before winning the job back and starting five straight contests through the end of August and all of September.
But a minor injury put him back on the bench for the last two games, and he’ll finish the season having played just 1,051 minutes with zero goals and one assist.
Curtin also announced that Rosenberry won’t be playing for affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC in their USL playoff game vs. top-seeded Louisville City FC on Friday because that would be a “distraction.”
“Keegan has a bright future,” the Union head coach said. “It was a mistake he made — one I hope he learns from and [as] he looks to bounce back and have a good year next year.”