SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe got an unpleasant surprise when he got to work on Wednesday morning: a suspension.
Watson-Siriboe learned he had been suspended one game by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for violent conduct that endangered the safety of his opponent, Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio, in the 52nd minute of RSL’s 3-2 loss last Saturday.
"I feel like I was done wrong," Watson-Siriboe told MLSsoccer.com following training on Wednesday. "I came to training today and I saw a paper on my seat and our team administrator was like, 'Oh, so you didn't see this?' And I was like, 'I didn't see what?' It showed I got suspended and I was pretty mad. I had no clue at all.
"I was very shocked with the decision and what happened. I told [the administrator] I didn't know what happened at all, so he showed me the video. Looking at the video, it definitely looks like I tried to maliciously hurt him. But I did not at all. We were just tangled and I tried to get up and it looks like I tried to hurt him. My reaction was I was very, very surprised. I'll take it up with the union and take it up with the league because I was not trying to maliciously hurt anyone at all."
Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis had some mixed feelings when he learned about the suspension.
"I've been a proponent of the Disciplinary Committee acting more," Kreis told reporters following Wednesday's training. "I think we've reached a stage in our league where I don't think the players treat each other with enough respect. The stuff that happens after the ball has gone away, and the stuff the referee isn't picking up, people need to be held accountable for those actions.
"Having said that, I really felt like Kwame's contact was very, very incidental. But the review committee had a chance to look at it time and again and I haven't looked at it again. Just from what I saw in the game, I thought it was pretty incidental. I saw both players shake hands. I thought that was another sign that there wasn't too much mal-intent there. But I'm not going to disagree with a Disciplinary Committee that has spent as much time as I'm sure they have in making a decision there."
Regardless of Watson-Siriboe's true intentions, he has been suspended for Sunday's game at Chivas USA. The only bright side for the 26-year-old defender is that does mean he will get to remain with his family and his young son, who was born May 4.
"Everybody has been very good to me, all the veterans, all the coaches," Watson-Siriboe said of becoming a new father. "It's all been positive. I love it. I'm enjoying life. His name is Kwame Jr. In our culture when a boy is born on a certain day in Ghana, you name him a certain name, and he was born on Saturday so that's how it worked out."