|Photo by Matt Kremkau
By Daniel Feuerstein
Without a doubt losing to the Philadelphia Union continues to hurt. Losing to a team that currently has your number is like back in the days of the 80's & 90's era when the New York Rangers couldn't beat the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum till the backend of the 1994 NHL regular season came to earn a victory before facing that team in the first round of the playoffs and swept them.
Currently, the New York Red Bulls just can't buy a victory against the Philadelphia Union. Either in the Regular Season or at the newly formed Leagues Cup, this team just can't get any form of luck to earn a victory at all. Sure they have drawn with Philly here and there, but right now they are cursed because Jim Curtin's side has their number.
Even if they have players injured or suspended, they continue to do the little things right and take advantage of a Red Bulls side that is lacking in communication and falling apart at the wrong time. Carlos Coronel can only do so much to defend his net, but it's just not good enough. poor passing, poor decision-making, and it's just been poor all the way around. No one will feel sorry for these players, they know what they have to face with each and every match.
But once again a big match against one of the top dogs in the Eastern Conference has been destroyed for what it could be by the referee. How is it possible that the Red Bulls get booked for soft calls, and then get a man sent off to play down to ten men the rest of the way, and the referee does not tell the Union to back up the free kick spot because they advanced the ball closer to gain an advantage.
Captain Sean Nealis got double yellowed and sent off on Red for a questionable foul call as he barely grabbed the Union player in the 6th minute, then the intentional handball in the 44th minute, but before he even got to that point, Carranza looked to have shoved or fouled Sean Nealis to put him into that position, but because it wasn't a straight red card, VAR couldn't review it.
If you remember the earlier match at home under Gerhard Struber, Referee Joseph Dickerson failed to give a penalty to the Red Bulls while shamefully awarding a penalty to the Union & after looking at the monitor still allowed the call to stand. This time it's Rubiel Vazquez who became a dealer of yellow cards to RBNY, and then he put them away in the second half. All of a sudden he gives Andres Reyes discussions and somehow not a second yellow?
I will give Jim Curtin and his Union side all the credit in the world for always finding a way to get points and wins against the Red Bulls, and yes this squad has been terrible due to injuries toward key players, and poor communication on the pitch with barely scoring tons of goals. Yes, they will not make the playoffs this year as time is running out on them, but I am getting sick and tired of poor officiating taking them down to help the Union get their wins against the Red Bulls. The only legit match was the 1-1 draw in the Leagues Cup Round of 16 match, but sadly losing in the penalty shootout.
This was a damn good opening 45 minutes for the Red Bulls, they started off strong in the 2nd half down a man, but when the referee doesn't tell the Union to back up the free kick spot to where the foul was, then the damn breaks and the Red Bulls fell apart right in front of everyone. They don't need help from the officials who can't do a game like this justice. It deserved a better ending than what we got. I'm not saying the Red Bulls should've won, but in no way this was a 4-1 scoreline. The referee was inept once again.