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Penalty Call Against Valdes Provides Dynamo with 3-1 Lead

When the goals rain in, they pour against the Philadelphia Union.

As if nothing could get worse after the problems the team has had tonight, the third goal that the Union gave up was mired in controversy.

Referee Mark Geiger, much maligned in American soccer circles for what has been criticized as inconsistent and incorrect game calling, pointed to the spot after a Carlos Valdes challenge on Will Bruin. The incident occurred when Bruin missed an attempt from inside of the Union box.

Valdes slid in as the shot took place and the initial take was that he had helped to stop the shot from going on target. However, replays showed that the Colombian international came in slightly late and his follow through nicked Bruin a little bit after the shot had already left the striker's foot.

Geiger decided that it was enough to call a penalty, in the face of color commentator Kyle Martino's statements to the contrary. Martino explained to viewers of NBC Sports Network's broadcast that it was not nearly enough for a referee to call a penalty, especially when players often are tackled much worse after shots throughout games.

Brad Davis stepped up to take the penalty and sent MacMath the wrong way, finishing low and to the left, while MacMath dove to the right.

A two goal lead gave the Dynamo a more positive outlook on the Eastern Conference playoff picture, where they're fighting D.C. United for the fifth and final spot.