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Three takeaways from the NYCFC loss

The Union came up empty in the Bronx and have picked up only one point in six to start the second half of the season

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

MLS has a referee problem

Let’s get it out of the way right now: both penalties were soft, with the second one in my opinion not being a penalty at all. I will say this: Auston Trusty has to do better there. He’s got to trust his partner in the back in that situation, the fact that he doesn’t speaks volumes. That being said: MLS has a referee issue. Week in, week out, there are issues being brought up in regard to the refs in MLS, just this week two major MLS stars (Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore) took to Twitter to publicly complain about the quality of refereeing in the league. That’s not a good look for the MLS. Speaking of things not being a good look for the MLS...

Yankee Stadium is a joke

Am I the only one that finds that pitch at Yankee Stadium (and to a greater extent NYCFC’s whole situation) a complete and utter joke? It’s akin to a 7v7 pitch, there’s no room for tactics, there’s hardly any room for football on an 11v11 scale. It’s all fouls and lucky (or unlucky) bounces all over the pitch. Players barely have room to back up and take a corner or throw in! How is this allowed in the modern version of MLS? It feels like something from the past, when the league wasn’t taken, and didn’t take itself, as seriously. (Two notes here: 1. No I am not blaming the loss on the pitch. The Union weren’t good enough, full stop. 2. My comments do not reflect my opinion of Yankee Stadium as a baseball stadium, totally different worlds.)

The Union aren’t playing like a first place team

The Philadelphia Union may be in first place in the Eastern Conference of MLS, but they certainly aren’t playing like it. You can only blame referees and poor pitches so much. The team lacks cohesion at the moment, they lack a killer edge to put them over the competition. Sure, goals are coming steady but the lack of quality at the back is making those goals null and void. Sloppy defense and lackluster goalkeeping are leading to dropped points and missed opportunities. It leads you to ask questions like: Why isn’t Carlos Miguel Coronel being given a shot in goal after he showed some quality earlier in the season? At one point do Trusty or Elliot get benched in favor of the more experienced Aurelien Collin, to spark some fire there? At one point do the Union go out and try to improve their situation at right back when Ray Gaddis just clearly isn’t enough? You can be in first place, but it won’t last if you don’t act like a first place team.