UPDATE: On Friday morning, the independent review panel that denied Alejandro Bedoya's red card appeal issued this statement: "The Laws of the Game require that a player be cautioned for dissent by word or action. In this case, the match report indicated dissent by word and that is what the IRP evaluated."
The Union's appeal of Alejandro Bedoya's red card in Saturday's loss at Atlanta was rejected on Thursday. That means Bedoya will be out of Friday's home game against Toronto FC (8 p.m., PHL17).
Bedoya was sent off after his second yellow card of the game, given for dissent before the penalty kick that led to Atlanta's first goal.
The officials' report included the foul language that Bedoya used, according to referee Storin Stoica. Union manager Jim Curtin said Thursday that Bedoya allegedly "called him an F-word and called him a cheat."
Bedoya vehemently denied using any such words.
"That couldn't be more false — I didn't say anything," he said.
A video posted to Twitter by a sideline photographer showed that Stoica was a few yards from Bedoya when he produced the card. Bedoya asked MLS headquarters for audio recordings made through Stoica's lapel microphone to prove the allegation.
"Where else can they prove that I said these … inflammatory words that I said to the official that caused him to give me the second yellow?" he asked.
Bedoya claimed the referee's report changed since the game.
"On Saturday night, talking with the league, and through Sunday, the initial report was just dissent for words," Bedoya said. "On Monday morning, it was added: dissent for words plus action. So, what caused that? I don't know. But now, in the report [Thursday], the statement just says dissent."
Bedoya said he is prepared to get fined, too.
Curtin will probably also get fined. In standing by Bedoya, the coach seemed to criticize the integrity of the review panel, comprised of one representative from the U.S. Soccer Federation; one from the Canadian Soccer Association; and one independent representative nominated by the Professional Referees Organization, which governs referee assignments for all leagues in the United States.
"I trust Ale Bedoya," Curtin said. "When an independent panel that involves referees is involved, they're going to side with [the referee] … . We still went through with the appeal process, because it's important to have the backs of our players."
Bedoya did plead guilty to an act of gamesmanship right before he was sent off: stepping into the arc of the 18-yard box as Atlanta's Josef Martínez prepared for the penalty kick.
"A veteran move, so that maybe [Stoica] could still get a signal" from the replay booth, Bedoya said. "It's a type of gamesmanship that happens in our sport, and all sports for that matter, to try to maybe ice the kicker. It's no different than the goalie stepping off his line or stepping in front of the ball and having the referee tell him to back up."
Bedoya said he would have accepted being booked for that. But if the dissent in question was verbal, then his encroachment wasn't the foul.
So he is just left wondering. He isn't alone.
The Union will host the New York Red Bulls in the round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup on Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m. The draw for that round and the remainder of the tournament was conducted Thursday by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
If the Union win, they will host D.C. United or Orlando City in the quarterfinals. The winner of that region of the bracket will face Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, or second-division USL clubs Nashville SC or Louisville City FC in the semifinals, at a venue to be determined in July.
8 p.m., Friday, at Talen Energy Stadium
Union's record: 5-6-3, 18 points (7th in the East); 4-1-2 at home
Toronto's record: 3-7-2, 11 points (10th in the East); 0-4-1 on the road
All-time series: Union — 6 wins; Toronto — 8 wins, 6 ties
At Talen Energy Stadium: Union — 4 wins; Toronto — 2 wins, 3 ties
F Sebastian Giovinco: For as much as the reigning champs have struggled this year, Giovinco is still one of MLS' most dangerous players. The Italian wizard can score off the dribble and from distance and is brilliant on free kicks.
GK Alex Bono: A U.S. national team fringe prospect, the 24-year-old is a solid shot-stopper and defensive marshal.