The most absurd display of "officiating" in a week with many absurd displays of officiating may have cost D.C. United two points. The home team managed just a draw that felt like a loss to the Philadelphia Union when the full points were within grasp.
A new development emerged though at the conclusion of the match, and its perhaps more important than the dropped points, and more important than the undeserved suspensions of Branko Boskovic and Emiliano Dudar. For the first time under the reign of Ben Olsen, we've seen a bit of dissention among the troops in the Army.
You can't expect to continue introducing new members to the squad without the risk of causing fractures. YOu can't expect to trade away popular inhabitants of the locker room without causing friction in that very room.
For the second week in a row, a player who has been a part of United for just two days was immediately slotted into the starting lineup. What message does that send? Guys like Lewis Neal, Ethan White, and Hamdi Salihi have been working their asses off to get a chance at starting. What did Lionard Pajoy and Mike Chabala do to deserve that chance that Neal, White, and Salihi have not?
Viewed in isolation, the Chabala and Pajoy moves were reasonable. They made plenty of sense. But in the grand scheme of our team composition, its alarming.
Now that that's out of the way. Let's talk about what everyone wants to take about. Let's talk about Mark Geiger.
First Geiger takes a goal off the board because a Union kicked the ball away from his own goalkeeper. Not sure how that one makes sense. And then after letting the repeated hard challenges of Michael Lahoud go unpunished, Geiger sent off Boskovic for an unknown infraction while calling off United's late winning goal for an unknown reason. The two additional red cards that were issued in the remaining minutes of stoppage time were given for fouls that were far less harsh than other challenges that occurred previously in the match. That's a lack of consistency in officiating, and that's something we just can't stand for. Neither team should be pleased.
United deserved to win this match, thanks to the penalty kick won by Chris Pontius (our first of the season by the way). It's no wonder that Dwayne De Rosario missed the second penalty kick attempt though, after the first was called back. With several minutes in between attempts and a whole bunch of shoving and general calamity surrounding the penalty spot, not even the great Jaime Moreno would have converted that second attempt. It's a shame the first didn't count. It should have.
I still believe though that D.C. United will cruise into the playoffs, and the playoffs are where anything can happen. And while we're all pissed at Geiger for robbing us of two additional points, this match still showed the resilience of a team that just doesn't effing quit. Of a team that is headed in the direction of something larger.