MLS suspends DC United's Najar for East Championship

NEW YORK – If D.C. United are going to get back to MLS Cup, they’ll have to do it without Andy Najar.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee handed down a two-game suspension on Friday for the dynamic D.C. winger who self-destructed during the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series matchup last Sunday and hurled a ball at head referee Jair Marrufo.

Najar was initially issued a yellow card for a rough tackle on New York Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere in the 71st minute of the teams’1-1 draw at RFK Stadium, before flinging the ball at Marrufo, prompting a second yellow and immediate ejection.

The Honduran international served an automatic one-game suspension during his team’s 1-0 win over the Red Bulls on Thursday night, a result that pushed D.C. into the Eastern Conference Championship against Houston, beginning Sunday.

Najar, who will now miss both legs of the Houston series, was also issued an undisclosed fine for the incident.

The MLS Players Union appealed the Committee’s decision on behalf of Najar. MLS Commissioner Don Garber heard the appeal on Friday and elected to uphold the Committee’s decision.

A two-match suspension and an undisclosed fine were also issued to FC Dallas striker Blas Pérez of FC Dallas for his violent conduct that endangered the safety of Bobby Burling of Chivas USA in the 35th minute of the match on Oct. 28. Pérez’s suspension will be served during the first two matches of the 2013 MLS regular season.

Fernando Cárdenas of the New England Revolution was also fined an undisclosed amount for his act of embellishment in the 72nd minute against the Montreal Impact on Oct. 27.