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3 Thoughts: Red Bulls give away 3 points in Philadelphia

The Red Bulls, riding a 5 game unbeaten streak, hand the struggling Union a 3-1 victory.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

March 15th, 2014

That was the last time that the Philadelphia Union won at home. The New York Red Bulls walked in a handed the Union a victory, it's as simple as that. They came into the game off of a 4-1 win against the Columbus Crew. In the process, the Red Bulls ended their 5 game unbeaten streak in MLS.

Early Goal/Going Down First

What's worse than giving up a goal? Giving up a goal in the first 15 minutes. Connor Casey put a move on Matt Miazga (who gave Casey too much room) and scored in the 9th minute. The goal by Casey was the 8th goal in 19 MLS matches that the Red Bulls gave up in the first 15 minutes (9 in 20 games if you count the US Open Cup). Additionally, this game continues the streak of the Red Bulls not winning a game when they concede the first goal.

Referee's Bad Calls

There are two calls I want to talk about, and they happened within minutes of each other. The first is what should've been a goal by Tim Cahill. He handed a ball towards the far post. Bradley Wright-Phillips made a run in front of Zac MacMath and jumped for a header, but didn't seem to touch the ball, with the move distracting MacMath, allowing the ball to go into the back of the net. The assistant ref flagged for offside and center ref Baldomero Toledo whistle the goal off because of Wright-Phillips. However, let's look back to May and a similar play by Mike Magee in a 5-4 loss by the Red Bulls. Instead of explaining it, here's what Simon Borg (and eventually the Professional Referee Organization) had to say about it.

A few minutes later, on a Union corner kick, Maurice Edu and Eric Alexander get into a tugging match. Toledo misses Edu tugging on Alexander first, but catches what is a clear acting job by Edu, and calls a penalty on Alexander. The call was the 8th penalty awarded to a Red Bulls' opponent in 2014. Toledo was made the fool for not seeing Edu's acting for what it was.