ORLANDO, Fla.- Phil Rawlins, the Orlando City SC president, has confirmed the club will mount an appeal against Saturday night’s red card for Cyle Larin, which was the team’s sixth dismissal of the season.
Rawlins reacted to fan discontent via his Twitter account:
The move follows head coach Adrian Heath’s frustrated response to his team's 2-0 defeat to New York Red Bulls, when Canadian striker Larin was shown a straight red for a 31st-minute challenge on Sacha Kljestan.
“You can’t say that Cyle went in with any malicious intent,” Heath insisted. “Players know when someone is trying to hurt someone and that wasn’t the case here.
“I’m fed up with coming in and talking about the officials. This game is not about them, it’s about players. We had 30,000 people come to watch footballers be as committed as they had been, not the refs.”
It was the third straight game in which Orlando finished with only 10 men following the straight red card for Kaka at Real Salt Lake and two yellows for Luke Boden at home to FC Dallas, and only Real Salt Lake have incurred more dismissals this season, with seven.
But only last week, the head coach had vehemently denied his team has a disciplinary problem, although they were concerned at the number of red cards.
“It does become a concern that we might get labeled that way,” Heath admitted. “This team might be a lot of things, but dirty and aggressive are not among them. In fact, the last thing this team can be called is over-aggressive.”
Orlando City's six red cards are the second most in MLS this season, one behind Real Salt Lake's total. They tied with D.C. United for the eighth most yellow cards. They are seventh in the league with 275 fouls committed, but they suffered the most fouls as a team, with a total of 300 on the season.
Additionally, most observers would say Orlando City have also benefited from some controversial calls this season. They have attempted a league-high six penalties (converting four) this year.
They must now undergo the formal MLS appeals procedure in which they submit their case to an independent three-member panel comprised of one member of US Soccer, one from the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), and one member of the Professional Referees Organization (PRO).
The panel will rule on the following basis:
- Did the referee correctly identify the offense in accordance with the Laws of the Game?
- Is the disciplinary sanction applied appropriate for the offense?
For the appeal to be successful, all three members of the panel must be in agreement, and, if the appeal is overruled, Orlando will only be allowed one further appeal this season.