Chicago Fire head coach Raphael Wicky has questioned the validity of an early red card that forced his side to face Philadelphia Union with 10 men for the much of the match.
The Fire were reduced to 10 in the 34th minute after VAR confirmed center back Wyatt Omsberg challenged Philadelphia forward Cory Burke and denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Chicago captain Francisco Calva complained in the moment that Omsberg’s actions did not merit a red card, while Wicky voiced his uncertainty at the call after the match.
“I cannot say much. I mean, look, we have VAR, we have VAR,” Wicky said. “If they review it on VAR with slow motion, with a lot of people and they think it’s a red card, then we need to trust them that it’s a red card. But it’s very, very soft. It is what it is. I have seen it once. I didn’t see in slow motion what they saw, but apparently Wyatt hit his knee or something.”
The foul enabled the Philadelphia Union to convert the awarded free kick into the equalizer, tying the match at 1-1. Despite the score and debated red card, Wicky spoke highly of his determined side.
“Great credit to the team, great effort and I’m proud of what they have done because it’s not easy, the situation where we are,” Wicky, who recently returned after an absence, said.
“Last week the results didn’t come and then you come here and then you’re winning 1-0 and then you go down a man. We immediately conceded the draw, the 1-1, so great reaction. It meant something and I think everyone showed a lot of character.”
The Chicago Fire currently sit in 13th place on the Eastern Conference table with 13 points in 16 matches. The team must improve dramatically to secure their spot in the fast approaching Major League Soccer playoffs.