MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends Mastroeni for two games

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee announced today that Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni has been fined $1000 and will be suspended for the next two MLS regular season games for violent conduct displayed in the 88th minute ( 56K | 384K) of the Rapids' 3-1 loss to the MetroStars on Saturday, April 30, 2005.

In the closing minutes of Saturday's match, Mastroeni swung his left arm back while running into the penalty area, striking MetroStars forward Abbe Ibrahim in the face. The incident was not seen by the officiating team and the MLS Disciplinary Committee reviewed the play and issued the fine and suspension against the 28-year-old due to the violent nature of the action. The two-game suspension shall be served on May 8 when the Rapids visit the Los Angeles Galaxy and on May 14 when Colorado hosts Chivas USA.

The Disciplinary Committee also fined FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson an additional $150 for provoking an incident which led to a 77th minute yellow card in FC Dallas' 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday night. Goodson was automatically fined $100 for the caution received for the lack of respect for the game.

The suspension issued to Mastroeni is subject to appeal as described below:

The MLS Players Union may submit an appeal to the Office of the Commissioner for supplemental discipline imposed as a result of an on-field incident resulting in (a) a fine equal to or greater than $750 for Senior Roster players; (b) or a fine greater than $250 for Developmental Roster players; (c) or a suspension for any player equal to or greater than two games. Any appeal is required to be submitted within 48 hours of receipt of notification of the disciplinary decision by the MLS Players Union.

Once a notice of appeal is received, the Commissioner will schedule a hearing to be held with the party involved. A suspension cannot be delayed if a hearing was not conducted prior to the next game.

The Office of the Commissioner will render a written decision following the conclusion of the hearing which will constitute the final resolution of the dispute and will be binding on the player(s) involved, the MLS Players Union and MLS. Any discipline imposed may be upheld, reduced or dismissed by the Commissioner in an appeal, but may not be increased.

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