Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Sorry, MLS Disciplinary Committee, I cannot defend you on this one

scales of justice

So the MLS Disciplinary Committee’s consistency is being called into question? Say, haven’t we heard that before?

I generally like Major League Soccer’s course correction in reducing the temperature and level of aggression this year. Said so many times. If anything, there are still referees who don’t get it, who refuse to properly police the hackers and foulers of MLS – and who probably should be removed from the pool by the U.S. and Canadian feds.

Still, league-level movement in the right direction is better than status quo, no doubt.

So I’ve defended almost every retroactive suspension handed down by the Disciplinary Committee. But I can’t quite get on board with Tuesday’s call; New England’s Kelyn Rowe will serve a one-game ban for Sunday’s 87th minute challenge on New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara.

That challenge isn’t in the MLS highlight package, so I can’t show it to you. But as studious and learned journalist Kyle McCarthy pointed out, it looks a whole lot like the one below.

(UPDATE: My bad! They do have it. Watch it after the Nyassi clip. Or before. Totally your call.)

The clip is from Sanna Nyassi, whose challenge back in April on Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins was more dangerous and reckless in some ways than Rowe’s.

Said Perkins afterward: “I thought he got my eye. I thought my eye was gone. I’ve seen the tackle many times ... it’s bad. Luckily, I wasn’t knocked out.”

His coach at the time, John Spencer, angrily protested, “That’s a stone cold red card for me.”

But it wasn’t for the Disciplinary Committee, which reviewed the sequence and declined action. Fair enough … but which one is it? Ban or no ban? Because they really are quite similar?



And now Rowe’s challenge on Meara: