Washington Diplomat striker Alan Green, still seething over the officiating in Sunday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Cosmos, says the quickest way to forget is to get back to business.
Business begins again tonight when Washington takes on the resurgent Philadelphia Fury in a NASL match at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium at 7:35. The game will be televised on WTTG-TV-5.
"That game is over," said Green, the team's leading scorer with eight goals and one assist for 17 points. "We protested the game but nothing is going to happen. We need a victory and the best thing that could have happened to us is coming back and playing so soon. That way we can get that game out of our system."
Washington, which has lost four straight games and is 3-7, played its best two halves of soccer this season before a record crowd of 53,351 at RFK Stadium. But an obstruction-of-the-goalie call and another foul nullified two Washington goals and the Cosmos eventually won in a shootout.
After a Green goal was called back, a melee ensued and Washington's Joe Horvath received a red card and Johan Cruyff drew a yellow card, for arguing with the officials. Carmine Marcantonio also was hit with a red card when he tossed a towel in the referee's face at the conclusion of the game.
A red card carries an automatic one-game suspension, but only for home games. Thus, both Horvath and Marcantonio will play against the Fury. Cruyff, who also drew a yellow card for "verbal dissent" in the first half, suffered a pulled muscle in his right thigh and will not play tonight. Cruyff would have been available to play. While two yellow cards equal a red, it does not carry an automatic suspension.
Midfielder Juan Jose Lozano, who is just beginning to live up to his preseason billing, sat out the Cosmos game after drawing a red card against Atlanta. Lozano will start in Cruyff's place.
Two weeks ago, the Fury might have provided the necessary antidote for the Dips' ills. Loser of six straight games with only four goals scored, Philadelphia was about ready to be laughed out of the league. Washington played one of its poorest games, but still manhandled the Fury at RFK, 3-1, earlier in the season.
Fury Coach Eddie Firmani, who has been under fire by the Philadephia media and the fans, has insisted all season his team would "break out of this slump soon."
Just as Firmani predicted, Philadelphia has snapped out of its slump, scoring seven goals in blanking Atlanta, 2-0, and bombing New England, 5-2, Sunday.
Diplomat Coach Gordon Bradley says, "We need to maintain the same level of play we had Sunday."
In their four losses, the Dips outshot all four opponents. They had a 25-15 shot advantage in the Cosmos game and controlled the game throughout. The front line combination of Green, Cruyff, Lozano, Sonny Askew and Horvath appears to be on the verge of breaking loose.
"No team can beat us when we play like we did Sunday," said Askew, who has three goals. "All we need are a few goals. We're doing everything else right."