NEW YORK - The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee today upheld the result of the Reserve Division game between the New England Revolution and D.C. United that was played on May 14, 2005 at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution Reserves defeated the D.C. United Reserves by a margin of 4-3.
D.C. United filed a protest following the Reserve Division game, citing that Revolution midfielder Jose Cancela had played more than a combined total of 90 minutes between the MLS Regular Season game and the Reserve Division game. Cancela also scored the winning goal for the Revolution Reserves in added time of the Reserve Division game against D.C. United.
The MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement states that no player shall play more than a combined total of 90 minutes in a 36-hour period between MLS Regular Season and Reserve Division games.
Following extensive interviews and a review of the videotape of the Reserve Division game between New England and D.C. United, the MLS Disciplinary Committee finds that:
1. The New England Revolution did not comply with the CBA provisions and played Cancela for a total of 93 minutes between the two games. In addition, Jeff Larentowicz played a total of 91 minutes between the two games.
2. D.C. United attempted to comply with the rules regarding playing time by withdrawing Bryan Namoff from the game. Nevertheless, despite their attempts to comply, Namoff played a total of 91 minutes between the two games (MLS Regular Season and Reserve Division).
Although it is clear that D.C. United made a good faith attempt to comply with the CBA provisions, and by doing so may have affected the outcome of the game, the Disciplinary Committee has ruled that the result will stand since both teams were in technical breach.
MLS has opened discussions with the MLS Players' Union regarding the CBA limitation of 90 aggregate minutes. The League believes that some additional flexibility would be advantageous to the development of younger players, allowing coaches the opportunity to insert them into the latter stages of regular season games while retaining the ability to play them for the entirety of a following Reserve Division game. The League is optimistic that it will be able to reach an agreement with the MLS Players' Union on this point in the near future.
The Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves and D.C. United Reserves are currently in first place of the Reserve Division with 12 points each, followed by the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew with 10 points. Only one Reserve Division game is scheduled for this weekend, with the Crew having the chance to move into first place should they beat the Colorado Rapids Reserves on Saturday.
All 12 teams will be in action this weekend in MLS Regular Season play, with three games on Saturday, June 11 and three games on Sunday, June 12. The Colorado Rapids visit the Columbus Crew on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Later that night, New England visits the Kansas City Wizards (HDNet) and Real Salt Lake faces the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center (Fox Soccer Channel). On Sunday, D.C. United heads to Giants Stadium to face the MetroStars, the Chicago Fire welcome FC Dallas, and Chivas USA hosts the San Jose Earthquakes.