Not that it serves as much consolation, but Major League Soccer has admitted that D.C. United should have been given two red cards Saturday during a 2-1 win over the visiting Union.

Union coach Jim Curtin said that the team and MLS correspond each week on disputed plays and that the league said in an e-mail that the red cards should have been called.

"This doesn't help us now at this point and we don't get any points back, but it is good to have the dialogue with the league," Curtin said.

The first no-call came in the 63d minute when United's Chris Rolfe kicked Vincent Nogueira after he was fouled by the Union midfielder. Nogueira was given a yellow card and there was no call on Rolfe.

MLS "said it was indeed a red card," Curtin said.

Shortly after that play, United's Chris Pontius earned a yellow card for taking down Sebastien Le Toux while he was charging in on goal.

"Sebastien was going in for a breakaway and was pulled down from behind," said Curtin, whose 3-8-3 team hosts Columbus on Wednesday at PPL Park. "By the letter of the law, that is a red card."

Had D.C. received those two red cards, United would have been playing two men down. Instead, Rolfe scored the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 85th minute.

"For me it was obvious it should have been a red," Le Toux said.

But it wasn't obvious to the officials, who are the ones who count.

International help

There have been rumblings that the Union might sign international left back John Arne Riise during next month's transfer period. But "that is not going to happen," a Union source said.

According to the source, the Union had looked into Norway's Riise but decided to pass on a player who competed for APOEL in Cyprus last season and turns 35 in September.

The same person said it also does not seem likely that former Union defender and Colombian World Cup participant Carlos Valdes will play for the Union this season.

The Union have loaned Valdes to Nacional in Uruguay, which, according to reports, will not renew his contract.

@sjnard