Under a downpour on Sunday night with the Argentine superstar making his Inter Miami debut, Higuain stepped up to take a penalty late in the game. He put his effort off target which sparked a coming together between a number of Union players and Higuain.
Watch the fracas below:
“I felt it was a lack of respect and I reacted," Higuain told media on a virtual press conference on Thursday in Spanish. "I believe in fair play. I’m an emotional person, and couldn’t accept or tolerate it. Five players were on me, that is provocation.”
Union head coach Jim Curtin didn't condone the behavior, though didn't mind that his players stuck up for each other.
“Look, it’s an emotional game," Curtin said Wednesday. "I think our guys felt some close calls went against us, so the feeling there might be that the star players get preferential treatment. That could have added a little more intensity to the moment after the PK. It does need to be said, though, that we need to respect Higuain and what he’s done. I think our players do, he’s a world-class player. But at the same time, I love that our players are fearless. They had each other’s backs.
“You want to respect the game and we respect the player a ton, and I think emotions got the best," Curtin continued. "And the mantra is if one goes, we all have to go, you know what I mean? I like that we’re together, I like that we’re fearless. It’s a team that has confidence right now, it’s a team that has each other’s back.”
The Union eventually beat Miami 3-0, moving closer to the top of the Eastern Conference. Miami, meanwhile, are still below the playoff line, hoping to spark a late season run that will see them qualify for the playoffs in their first MLS season.
Higuain will be a key piece in Miami's quest to make the playoffs.
"I'm not proud of how I reacted," Higuain said. "I'm an emotional person, but I couldn't tolerate that. I've moved on."