Union

Honest Haris Medunjanin gets D.C. United red card rescinded with fair play

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Honest Haris Medunjanin gets D.C. United red card rescinded with fair play

CHESTER, Pa. -- Sportsmanship isn’t dead. 
 
In the 74th minute of Saturday’s 1-0 Union win over D.C. United at Talen Energy Stadium, Luciano Acosta knocked midfielder Haris Medunjanin out of bounds. Trekking in from midfield, referee Sorin Stoica immediately threw up the red card to eject the United's Acosta from the match.
 
Moments later, play restarted with Acosta still in the game. 
 
"All I know is I saw the red card, turned around and next thing I know is he’s still on the field," Union center back Oguchi Onyewu said. 
 
The red card was pulled for what Stoica believed was Acosta kicking Medunjanin. Unaware that the referee could even rescind the card, the Union man honorably disputed the kick and Stoica pulled the ejection.
 
"I rescinded the card because [Medunjanin] stated that he was not kicked after the play, which was the initial decision I made," Stoica told a pool reporter.
 
Medunjanin explained his side.
 
"I saw the red card and spoke with Acosta and he was saying that he didn’t kick me," he said. "I said I didn’t feel it also. I went to the referee and he said, 'did he kick you?' and I said, 'no he didn’t kick me, I think it was just a push.' That’s why it was no red card for me." 
 
He then took a shot at New York Red Bulls player Felipe, who drew a red on the Union’s Derrick Jones last Sunday in what the club believed was a dive.
 
"I hope Felipe was watching from last week," Medunjanin said. "I wish he could say the same. I think you need to be honest and I felt like it was just a push."

Union manager Jim Curtin, who admitted he may not have been so honorable in Medunjanin's position, was proud of his player. 

"It’s not a red card, and I have to give a lot of credit to Haris," he said. "He’s a person that I respect a great deal. It’s an incredible act. I think it’s something you could show to not just young kids but also a lot of the adults that play in professional soccer because what he did is very honorable. It’s the right thing to do."
 
While fair play Medunjanin gained respect from Curtin and United coach Ben Olsen, who called him a “classy player and classy human being,” he was grilled by his teammates, who found the scenario humorous. 
 
"I don’t know whose team Haris is on, I really don’t," Onyewu said jokingly. "I don’t know if Haris and the referee or Haris and Acosta are actually best friends, I don’t know. Maybe they are going out later tonight and they didn’t want any bad tension?"
 
They also found it perplexing.

"I didn’t think that was possible,” Medunjanin said, a sentiment echoed by Onyewu. “The referee chose to do it so you need to respect that. I can talk now and be honest. Maybe if it was a draw, it would’ve been a little different."
 
But it happened and Medunjanin can walk away with three points and an unofficial award for being a class act.

"Everybody said thanks for the fair play,” Medunjanin said. “Nice gesture of you and that’s it. The coach came over to speak with me and I said, 'no problem this is football. We fight for the three points, but we need to be honest.'"

Union's Kacper Przybylko shares Covid-19 diagnosis, asks Philly to 'follow the rules'

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Union's Kacper Przybylko shares Covid-19 diagnosis, asks Philly to 'follow the rules'

Philadelphia Union striker Kacper Przybylko announced late Wednesday night that he was the team member who tested positive for Covid-19 in early April.

The team announced back on April 1 that an unidentified player had tested positive for the virus, saying the player - who we now know is Przybylko - had mild symptoms and was feeling well.

In a video posted to his personal Instagram account on Wednesday night, Przybylko echoed those sentiments, explaining what sounds like a brief battle with the virus.

Here's how Przybylko described his experience:

I just want to share with you all that I was the one who was tested positive by Covid-19. I immediately alerted the proper team officials about my symptoms, and went straight to self-isolating. My goal was not to risk anyone else. I received my test. I also went into quarantine for 14 days.

First of all, I would like to thank everybody for respecting my privacy at this time. I just needed some time for myself, before I wanted to share with everybody. Especially my teammates, my close friends, my family. Thanks for that. And also thanks for all the support I got from my fiancee, my family, my Union family, my teammates, the medical staff, everyone else, thanks for that.

I received mild symptoms, with a little bit of fever, but I feel great right now. I feel fully recovered right now. I'm looking forward to the magical moment, to be back at the practice with you guys. So, let's follow the rules. Philly is a big family, we all have to stay together, fight for each other, so let's follow the rules by the government. Hope you guys are staying safe. Your friendly striker. Be safe, I love you guys.

It is believed that Przybylko was the first Major League Soccer player to test positive for Covid-19.

Przybylko, 27, joined the Union in 2018, and made his debut with the club during the 2019 season, scoring 15 goals.

The team said in a release last month that it communicated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local medical officials, after Przybylko notified them of his symptoms.

The MLS, and all major professional sports leagues in the U.S., are still on hold amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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Philadelphia Union player tests positive for COVID-19

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Philadelphia Union player tests positive for COVID-19

A Philadelphia Union player has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

The team did not specify which player tested positive.

The player experienced "mild symptoms", according to the team, and is currently feeling well and is in good spirits. The player has been isolated, according to the team, and no other players have cases or symptoms as of Wednesday.

The Union said the team's medical staff has been in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local medical officials:

Based upon guidance from Crozer-Keystone Health System medical officials, infectious disease specialists and Major League Soccer health officials, this case does not present a risk to our fans, our most recent opponent, LAFC, or any of the other Union players, staff, or personnel do not need to be tested as the team is outside of the 14-day window where anyone with team related interactions with the player would have reported symptoms. 

The announcement is believed to be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 from a Major League Soccer player. A member of the Seattle Sounders support staff tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March.

The Union said it will provide more information as it becomes available.

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