Sunday, May 13, 2012

Red Card costs Union in 3-2 loss to New York


By John McMullen
jmcmullen@phanaticmag.com

CHESTER, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Freddy Adu was in the midst of his best game as a member of the Philadelphia Union when referee Jorge Gonzalez flashed a red card in the 43rd minute.

What's quickly becoming a dismal 2012 season for the Union only got worse from there as Eastern Conference powerhouse New York rallied for a 3-2 win in front of 18,193 at PPL Park.

Kenny Cooper's marker in the 78th minute proved to be the difference as a gassed Union club, playing a man down for well over 50 minutes, let the Red Bulls' forward get behind the defense for an easy tap in.

Lionard Pajoy netted both goals for the Union (2-6-1, 7 points), one in the 46th minute after Adu had departed, that gave Philadelphia a short-lived 2-1 edge.

New York (7-3-1, 22 pts) defender Markus Holgersson headed in a Brandon Barklage's  corner kick in the 68th minute to deadlock things before Cooper's heroics, his ninth goal of the season.

The Union were on the doorstep late looking for the equalizer but Michael Farfan missed a tap-in in the 86th minute and Red Bulls rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara stopped Pajoy in front during stoppage time.

Adu received his second yellow card and the subsequent controversial red card when he went down in the area.

Replays showed that the midfielder was not taken down by New York. However, he tripped on his own feet and was not taking a dive to draw a penalty kick. Gonzalez saw if differently and it eventually cost the Union, who remain buried in the East, ahead of only winless Toronto FC.

"I don't know ... I don't know what to say anymore," a disappointed Union team manager Peter Nowak said. "I'll let the professionals deal with referee decisions."

Red Bull New York, meanwhile, has won four straight and earned its first points ever at PPL Park despite being without injured superstar Thierry Henry, who has been out of the lineup since April 28.

Pajoy's first goal evened the game at 1-1 and ended a 324-minute shutout streak by New York in the 31st minute.
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