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Union Player Wins Argument To Take Penalty, Misses It

The Philadelphia Union beat the Columbus Crew 3-0 last night, but it wasn’t without a bit of drama — from its own players.

With the Union up 1-0 in the 35th minute, C.J. Sapong was taken down in the box. The Crew’s Jonathan Mensah got a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, and the Union had a penalty and a chance to basically put the game away in the first half.


While players on the Crew argued with the referee over the card, players on the Union argued with each other. Roland Alberg picked up the ball and ran to the spot, thinking he should take the penalty. Sapong, who leads the Union in goals, thought he should take it. As fans looked on in confusion, the two argued on the field.

Sapong even begged Union coach Jim Curtin to let him take the penalty! But Curtin deferred to Alejandro Bedoya, the captain, to make the call. He chose Alberg.


And then Alberg missed it! After all that.

Sapong eventually scored in the second half for his 10th goal of the season, and the Union won. But not before Alberg was booed by fans when he was subbed out.


“I was confident and I felt like I wanted to take it; he was confident and he felt like he wanted to take it,” Sapong told reporters postgame. “Ale came in and was like, ‘Hey, he’s got the ball, he feels confident, let him take it.’ Thankfully we ended up getting the three points anyway.”


Was Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter upset at his team after the 3-0 defeat? No! In a postgame rant, he blamed the referees: “I already told the guys after the game, ‘We didn’t get beat by Philadelphia tonight. We got beat by the three men in red.’ We’re Okay. We’re gonna be fine. The morale’s gonna be fine.”

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