NEW YORK — Portland Timbers fans were up in arms when they saw Chivas USA's Mario de Luna back on the field last Saturday, as he went the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss at Colorado.
That's because de Luna was originally expected to be out for two league matches following an MLS Disciplinary Committee suspension handed down on May 15 for "aggressively retrieving the ball" from a Timbers ball kid at JELD-WEN Field.
The yellow card de Luna received from the referee for the incident was believed to have triggered an automatic suspension for card accumulation. And together with the one-game suspension issued by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, the official league release indicated that the Chivas USA defender was set to miss two matches on May 19 (vs. Real Salt Lake) and May 25 (vs. Colorado).
But it turns out there was an error and an MLS spokesman clarified "standard procedure" on Tuesday: There can be no double jeopardy when it comes to MLS Disciplinary Committee sanctions for actions that earned a yellow card during a match.
And so once the Disciplinary Committee acted on the ball boy incident, the yellow card de Luna received during the game no longer counted toward his card accumulation for the season.
In fact, the official league count still has de Luna on four yellow cards accumulated. The next one he receives will result in a one-game suspension.