The Philadelphia Union’s tie to Toronto FC was wildly disappointing, as the second-place Union found themselves unable to earn three important points on the road against a team already eliminated from playoff contention. However, at the end of the evening, the Union’s loss wasn’t entirely chalked up to poor play, as some of the loss was attributed to poor officiating.
As the game reached the final minutes, Kacper Przybylko received a pass inside Toronto’s penalty area from Jamiro Monteiro and fired a shot toward goal. The ball then hit Michael Bradley, bouncing off his torso and then his hand. The ball careened out of bounds, and the Union was awarded a corner kick.
However, as the Union players pointed out, they deserved a penalty kick. According to Law 12 of the FIFA Laws of the Game: “It is an offense if… the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger… The above offenses apply even if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.”
Bradley’s arm extended away from his body well enough to make his body unnaturally bigger, and as the rule above states, the initial contact with Bradley’s body doesn’t negate the handball.
Yes, the Union should’ve won the match without the help of the referees, but at the end of the day, they were negatively impacted by the game’s officiating crew.