Kick Off: Precedent set with rescinded red-card suspension
Mark this one down for the players.
Tuesdays are typically reserved for word from the MLS Disciplinary Committee about the latest retroactive suspension over a rough tackle or errant elbow, but this week marked something a bit historic. For the first time, a club pulled one back. It was announced on Tuesday evening that the New England Revolution had successfully appealed the suspension for Fernando Cárdenas following the red card to him given during the team’s 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake last Saturday.
It turns out that the Revs coaching staff was aggressive in attempting to overturn the decision, clearly evidenced by head coach Jay Heaps’ comments: “We felt, out of principle, that we really should fight this one.”
Here’s Revolution beat writer Kyle McCarthy's thorough explanation of the appeal process, which was put in place by MLS during the offseason.
There was no such good news, however, in Seattle Sounders camp. The club learned on Tuesday that defender Leo González has been suspended one game for stomping on the foot of the Philadelphia Union’s Sheanon Williams during Seattle’s 1-0 win on Saturday. González will miss the team’s matchup against FC Dallas on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
The Dallas-Seattle matchup will also lack a few familiar faces on the Dallas side. With midfielder Daniel Hernandez and striker Blas Pérez already suspended for red cards received in a 2-0 loss to Colorado on Sunday, it appears defender and captain Ugo Ihemelu will miss Wednesday’s game due to injury.
How about someone welcomed back into the fray? New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Márquez returns from his three-game suspension on Wednesday against the Houston Dynamo (7 pm, watch LIVE online), but head coach Hans Backe was coy on Tuesday on whether or not his star player would actually see the field.
It appears that in light of Márquez’s latest suspension (doled out by the Disciplinary Committee last month for injuring the Quakes’ Shea Salinas), the Red Bulls brass spoke with the Mexican international about his importance to the team, and made it clear he “has to be able to stay on the pitch.”
Wednesday marks the end of the road, meanwhile, for the Dynamo, who will finally go home after a seven-game stretch of away matches. They will christen the brand new BBVA Compass Stadium this Saturday against D.C. United (4:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). Much of the attention this week has focused on some of the men who made the project happen, including current club president Chris Canetti and former club president Oliver Luck.
Here’s a second look at the role of Luck, and the news that his son Andrew, the first pick in the recent NFL Draft, will also be in attendance on Saturday.
The Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake are also busy with midweek action on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), but not Nick Rimando. The RSL goalkeeper will miss the match while he nurses a sore shoulder suffered during the team’s win over the weekend, marking just the second time he’ll miss a regular season match since 2010. Kyle Reynish will take his place.
The news is a bit better for Chicago, who will see the return of suspended defender Jalil Anibaba and head coach Frank Klopas. But Chris Rolfe? The midfielder/striker/savior is still out with an ankle injury.
And one other noteworthy item in this match: RSL assistant coach C.J. Brown will be inducted into the Ring of Fire Hall of Fame on Wednesday, becoming the seventh member of the Fire's distinguished alumni club.
The semifinals of the Amway Canadian Championship conclude on Wednesday, and all eyes fall on the reigning champs, Toronto FC. The Reds are in dire straits these days and, if Tuesday’s practice session is any indication, hardly talking to the media about it.
Midfielder Eric Avila, who over the weekend told reporters that the team was looking for a place to "hide and cry" after an eighth straight loss to start the regular season, put the matchup against Montreal at BMO Field (8 pm, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet East, TVA Sport in Canada) in perspective: “We’re fighting for the shirt.”
Things are a bit rosier on the Montreal side, and the communication lines are open. That’s because head coach Jesse Marsch – a Wisconsin native who played in MLS before the Impact were even a glimmer in the league’s eye – is hard at work learning Quebecois French.
And that’s a very serious matter in Montreal, where fans were outraged last year when Randy Cunneyworth became the club’s first head coach who couldn’t speak French in four decades. Said Marsch: “I understand what that team means to this community and how its community takes pride in the uniqueness of it.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps hold a 2-0 aggregate-goal lead over FC Edmonton on the other side of the Canadian Championship bracket heading into Wednesday’s second leg (11 pm ET, Sportsnet Pacific, Sportsnet West in Canada). The focus there falls on ‘Caps midfielder Davide Chiumiento, who is working his way back into the mix after a strong outing last weekend.
In other news for the Whitecaps, goalkeeper Brad Knighton is expected to start against Edmonton, and rookie Darren Mattocks could see his first action after a recent cooking accident put his rookie season on hold for much of the spring.
One other match on the docket for Wednesday has some international flavor, as German side FC Schalke 04 are Stateside to face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. US international and Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones met the media on Tuesday, and admitted he’s looking into potentially moving to the Los Angeles area sometime in the future.
Let’s take a quick look at the latest injury news around the league, starting with some trouble for the Columbus Crew. It appears defender Chad Marshall still has some issues surrounding a recent concussion, and will likely miss the team’s matchup against FC Dallas this weekend.
There’s bad news in Colorado, too, where the club will evidently miss both striker Omar Cummings and defender Marvell Wynne for three weeks with injuries.
In the nation’s capital, there’s word that defenders Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic remain questionable for D.C. United’s road match in Houston on Saturday.
And there’s also some more injurious news for the San Jose Earthquakes, who will be without recent hero Marvin Chávez for 2-4 weeks. But the good news? The Quakes’ newest radio voice is going strong. Check out this profile of Gus Johnson, who’s enjoying his new gig worker soccer matches in the Bay Area.
How about a quick look at Americans abroad, starting with former MLSer Sacha Kljestan. Brian Straus of the Sporting News caught up with the USMNT midfielder to talk about his recent Belgian title with Anderlecht, and found out he still carries a chip on his shoulder about being an American on the best team in Belgium.
And here’s an article from the Missouri Sports Magazine on local boy Tim Ream, who says not long after his recent move to Bolton he found himself “questioning whether it was the right decision.”
And last but not least, there’s some drama surrounding David Beckham. Stunning, we know. The recent buzz surrounds Beckham’s potential spot on the Great Britain Olympic team, and just exactly where manager Stuart Pearce was supposed to sit during the Galaxy’s loss over the weekend to the New York Red Bulls.
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