CHESTER, Pa. -- The Union were bitter.
Despite earning a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Toronto FC on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium, the Union thought they were robbed by referee Mark Geiger.
The moment of contention happened shortly before the halftime whistle when Union defender Oguchi Onyewu fouled Sebastian Giovinco, which earned TFC the free kick. On the ensuing restart, in a muddled mess typical of an in-the-box scrum, Union rookie Derrick Jones tripped up Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore.
"It’s not a penalty," said Union manager Jim Curtin, who was biting his tongue throughout his postgame press conference. "It's clear. We've seen the video now. Referees make mistakes, I have to watch what I say."
Geiger immediately signaled for a penalty kick, which Altidore buried to tie the match at one.
"You can call a penalty kick on literally every ball that's put in the box," Curtin said. "Everyone, someone is grabbing, someone's holding."
Yet, while clutching and grabbing happens on almost every set piece, the Professional Referee Association has added an initiative for 2017 to be more aggressive in calling "holding and pushing in the penalty area."
Still, the Union thought it was a dive.
"Knowing him, he tends to go down easily in the box," said Alejandro Bedoya, a U.S. Men's National Team teammate of Altidore, who also labeled it a makeup call from a penalty kick given to the Union earlier in the half. "So we'll just leave it at that."
In return, Altidore lashed out at Bedoya on Twitter in a tweet that has since been deleted.
While anger and frustration at the officiating were a theme for the Union after the game, Curtin was ultimately upset with the result, which he believes was stolen by a poor call.
"It's hard," Curtin said. "It's a hard job they have. It's not one I ever want to do. But it is tough because our guys empty their tanks for 90 minutes and they get a point out of it and I think it should've been three."