This is not how we wanted the season to go, all Union fans will agree to this. And the frustration levels are at an all time high. The Philadelphia Union have pretty much written themselves out of the playoffs, and in a way, I’m happy about that. Why? Because I do not want this pseudo management we have to throw it right in the supporters face that this is a playoff team. We are close, but definitely not playoff worthy. But I am glad to see our frustration is showing through the players.
Saturday night in the 90th plus minute, Cristian Maidana got called for a push by one of the league’s worst referees, Chris Penso. I’m not saying I could do a better job than him, but I don’t believe I could do any worse. 2 minutes prior, Chris missed the same push in the back against Chaco. No whistle. So onto the call.
Off a corner kick, New England played it short. Maidana stole the ball, but it was not cleared. NewEnglean got the ball back, and Cristian played a defensive ball against Nguyen. There was contact, that I agree, with Nguyen falling to the ground.
Cristian did not complain about the call, and walk passed Lee on the ground. He did spit! But he has admitted that. That is not in question. But then Penso pulled out the red card. Immediately, Maidana pointed to the ground where he did spit. But the ref was not hearing it. There is no video evidence showing where he spit, so we will have to go on reputation.
Chris Penso; You just have to google his name, and you will see he has had more complaints about him then praise. Even the fans of Chicago calling for Chris Penso to lose his whistle this past June. But agian, I don’t want to judge, just state my opinion. The man throws out cards like he is Hallmark!
Cristian Maidana; On the field a fighter, and a play maker. Not a confrontational player at all. In 2 years, has a whopping total of…..get ready for this.. 1 Yellow, and 2 Red cards. He is not a dirty player. And off the pitch, he is even more of a gentleman. I don’t trust some of my family with my kids, but him I would. A class act.
So was he frustrated? I hope so. This is Philly, and sports to us is a religion. So the question is not did he spit, but was it on the opponent? My opinion; HELL NO! The man does chew gum during the game, and he will spit occasionally. All athletes spit. Hell, my U11 team does on the field all the time. And also, there was no reaction form Nguyen showing that he was spit on. If someone had spit on me, you better believe I would be up in his face, but there was nothing. And none of the teammates came to Nguyen’s aid saying to me that the spit did travel, but its landing was on grass, not a player. So MLS, do the right thing. He has accepted his penalty, now move on. Let the player play. Although his coach didn’t have his back, The Union fans do. Of course, that would have to be one magic loogie!