Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes blasts referee after loss to Union

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes didn't mince words after Saturday's loss to Philadelphia, pointing the blame at the referee who

CHESTER, Pa. — Peter Vermes could have pointed to his team's recent run of five matches in 15 days as an excuse for why his Sporting Kansas City side dropped a 2-0 decision to the Philadelphia Union, but he chose instead to pin the blame on one person.

For Vermes, referee Juan Guzman's decisions that led to both red cards he issued to Sporting KC players were questionable, if not downright terrible. So much so that Vermes ripped into Guzman in a post-match display that will almost assuredly earn him a fine, if not suspension.

"For me, tonight’s game was decided by the referee," Vermes told reporters on Saturday. "It’s pretty simple. He made a horrible call, a missed call, in the first half when (Fabian) Herbers came in and got his studs up on Jimmy Medranda. That play turned over, the ball went to him, he chased the guy back and got a yellow card."

Medranda's early yellow card proved costly when he drew a second yellow card early in the 59th minute of a scoreless match, a call that helped change the tone of the match, and shifted full control to the Union, which wore out a tired Sporting KC for the final 31 minutes.

"After about five or ten minutes of being down a man, I could tell we were getting gassed big time," Vermes said. "Five games in 15 days and this is the last one. We traveled over 16,000 miles."

Roger Espinoza drew an 87th minute red card that Vermes considered an even worse decision than the missed early call on Herbers. Espinoza looked to make marginal contact with Alberg, who sold the foul, which led to Guzman issuing a straight red card rather than second yellow card.

"The second, the red card on Roger Espinoza is absolutely ridiculous," Vermes said. "Unfortunately that’s what happens in this league too often."

"I’m gonna appeal the second one. Easy. And I’ll tell you right now, we’ll win," Vermes said. "If we don’t win, then something’s wrong. Big time. There’s no chance. The guy gets an arm to his chest? I don’t know what game this is but it’s a man’s game and there’s going to be contact. That’s ridiculous.

Vermes closed out his referee rant by saying the red card on Espinoza was so egregious that there had to be some ulterior motive that led to it.

"I actually thought the referee may have had a little bit of a grudge maybe against him for some reason because I don’t know how you give that call," Vermes said. "I just don’t know."