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CHESTER, Pa. -- It’s extremely rare and even more controversial.
But as Michael Farfan lined up for a game-deciding indirect free kick on Friday night in the Union's 3-1 win over Chivas USA (see story), he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“We knew they were going to have the whole team in the goal,” said Farfan, who was set up at the top of the opposition’s crease in the 82nd minute. “I figured the only place it could possibly go in was under the crossbar and above their heads. I set up to do that and fortunately it worked.”
Taking a soft touch from Sebastien Le Toux, Farfan, previously scoreless on the season, confidently fired off a right-footed roof shot that whipped under the crossbar and in the net. The charging Chivas defenders were helpless to prevent it.
“We saw where it was located,” Farfan said of the placement. “[Le Toux] knew where I wanted it and he put it there.”
The play was called as a result of an illegal back pass from Edgar Mejia to goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in the box. The broken play was argued by Chivas but referee Jorge Gonzalez could not be moved.
When asked about the last time he saw an indirect free kick, Union captain Brian Carroll had trouble remembering.
“It’s been a while,” Carroll said. “I think it happened once or twice in my professional career, but it happens a lot growing up. Credit to the guys for taking care of that opportunity. It’s not easy, though it may look close to the goal.
“You don’t practice it because it happens so infrequently. It’s playground ball stuff.”
Union coach John Hackworth was impressed with how confidently Farfan took the shot.
“These players are experienced enough that they’ve gone through it a number of times,” the coach said. “You have to get a touch on it and once you do that, pick your spot on frame. He decided to go over their heads. Michael was lining that up for two minutes. You could tell he was going there.”
Hackworth facing suspension
Before Gonzalez tossed Chivas’ Josue Soto with a red card and handed the Union the indirect free kick, he quietly ejected Hackworth in the 77th minute.
Though a red card wasn’t shown to Hackworth for dissent, the ejection counts as such. Barring MLS intervention, the call will leave the Union without a head coach for next Saturday’s match against the Portland Timbers at PPL Park.
“There’s a lot of things puzzling about the whole thing,” Hackworth said. “I don’t know why I was red-carded and thrown out of the game. I thought there was a clear handball that didn’t get called.”
Union assistant Rob Vartughian is expected to take his spot on the bench.
“I was upset because I thought there was a player,” Hackworth said. “I thought the player clearly takes his elbow and knocks the ball. That’s a handball in the box. I tell the fourth official, probably a little too emotional, that I thought it was a handball. I didn’t use profanity. Then Jorge came over and I go through the motion of how I thought the player made the handball and he threw me out.
“I haven’t been thrown out in a long time and usually you have to say something to get thrown out. I guess my actions were too much.”