UPDATE: The Union confirmed Tuesday morning that they have appealed Alejandro Bedoya's red card from Saturday's game. The appeal will be heard by an independent panel with one member each from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Professional Referees Organization.
Each team in MLS is allowed two unsuccessful appeals per season. The Union still have both of theirs, as they hadn't lodged any appeals yet this year.
Jim Curtin tried as best he could Monday to not say anything more about Alejandro Bedoya's and Haris Medunjanin's red cards in the loss at Atlanta Saturday, lest he get himself into any more trouble.
But the Union's manager couldn't help going there anyway, and really, he didn't have much choice.
In addition to affecting the home league game Friday against Toronto, the ejections affected Curtin's preferred lineup for the U.S. Open Cup home game against the Richmond Kickers at 7 p.m. Tuesday (live streaming at ussoccer.com).
The plan, it seems, was to start Anthony Fontana, Derrick Jones, and Warren Creavalle in central midfield. Fontana and Jones will likely still start, but Creavalle played 67 minutes in Atlanta as a defensive reinforcement after the ejections. Since Medunjanin played only 18 minutes, he'll likely have enough in the tank to play Tuesday.
"Haris and Ale were not going to play a second in this game had everything shaken out the way we anticipated," Curtin said. "There's still the potential of maybe one of those guys being back for Toronto, hopefully, but we'll see how that plays out."
The guy Curtin referred to is Bedoya. As of Monday night, there was no word on whether the Union appealed Bedoya's second yellow card. . They had until 48 hours after the end of Saturday's game — to make their case.
In the referee's official report, the stated cause of that card was dissent, not — as had been reported — encroachment into the arc of the 18-yard box before a penalty kick.
But video posted on Twitter by a photographer on the field showed that referee Sorin Stoica was pulling the card out while walking toward Bedoya from nearly 10 yards away, and showed Bedoya didn't look toward Stoica until the card was already on its way out.
The standard for winning an appeal is defined by MLS as "rectifying obvious errors in the referee's disciplinary decisions."
The Union won't appeal Medunjanin's ejection, but they are worried about losing him for longer. Accusations flew on social media Saturday night that he had spat toward Stoica after being ejected. Medunjanin wasn't close to Stoica at that moment, though the Bosnian midfielder had some choice words in the ref's face right before then. If he's charged with abusing the referee, Medunjanin could be suspended for three more games.
Curtin didn't argue against the cards or the language, but he slammed the spitting claim.
"That needs to be dismissed — it's completely inaccurate, false," he said. "Did he have a little emphasis in the curse? Did the head move forward? Absolutely. But he did not spit. … I can't not say something, because it's so not true."
As Curtin moves on to Tuesday, he must contend with Open Cup roster rules that limit teams to five international players on 18-man game day rosters. Medunjanin, Blake, and Jack Elliott are probably three of them. The other two were still being decided as of Monday.
"We'll have some veterans sprinkled within the lineup that can kind of control the crazy moments that the Open Cup can bring out, but we'll certainly have some young guys that will be eager to impress," Curtin said.