Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner will not travel with the team to face the Revolution in the second match of the first round of the MLS playoff series on Wednesday, according to to head coach Jim Curtin
Wagner, 26, was accused of making racist comments toward New England forward Bobby Wood during the first game of the series on Oct. 28. The Revolution filed a complaint with the league about the alleged incident, and the matter has since been investigated. time.
While no official resolution on the review has been shared publicly, Curtin made it clear that Wagner would have no role in Wednesday’s match.
“First and foremost, Kai Wagner will not be traveling with us to New England,” Curtin told reporters Tuesday. “I hope you can respect that there is currently an investigation involving the players’ union, the disciplinary committee, the commissioner, lawyers, and I am not allowed to say or comment on anything at this time. That investigation is still ongoing, so I hope we can respect that in the future.
“However, Kai will not be part of this journey,” Curtin added. “That part is for sure and we’ll go from there.”
Wood, who joined the Revolution ahead of the 2023 season, is originally from Hawaii and has both Japanese and African-American ancestry. Wagner, a German, is said to have uttered the slur in German. Wood, who played in Germany for more than a decade, knew what was said.
Neither team has publicly commented on the matter, and the league has issued only an initial statement saying it is investigating the matter.
The Revolution lost 3-1 in the first game, meaning a result Wednesday will decide whether or not New England’s season continues. If necessary, a third (and deciding) match would be played at Subaru Park on November 12 at 3 p.m.
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