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Yikes: Suspended Bradley Wright-Phillips, teammates, Petke “didn’t know rules” of card accumulation

Bradley Wright-Phillips

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR CASTROL - Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls is awarded the Castrol Index 2014 Top Player on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 in Harrison, N.J. (Bennett Raglin/AP Images for Castrol)

AP Images for Castrol

Someone’s got a lot of explaining to do when it comes to Bradley Wright-Phillips’ suspension for the second leg of the Eastern Conference final.

Wright-Phillips is going to miss the contest in New England, possibly New York’s last of the season, after picking up a second postseason yellow card for interfering with Bobby Shuttleworth’s distribution (video at bottom).

[ Match recaps: NY 1-2 NE | LA 1-0 SEA ]

And you could certainly argue that the two-yellow rule is far too stingy for such a high stakes time of year, but you can’t argue that someone needed to make clear to Major League Soccer’s leading scorer that he was on thin ice.

If they did, he didn’t hear them. Neither did coach Mike Petke and his teammates, which is super embarrassing to either the team, the league, the officials or all three parties.


Wright-Phillips was booked at the hour-mark for impeding Bobby Shuttleworth while the Revolution goalkeeper attempted to roll out a ball to a teammate. It was the veteran striker’s second caution of the playoffs after picking up a late yellow in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. D.C. United leading to a yellow-card accumulation suspension, something Wright-Phillips, his teammates and head coach Mike Petke didn’t realize until being notified of it postgame.

“I didn’t know the rules of the yellow card accumulation,” said Wright-Phillips, who scored New York’s goal on Sunday in the first half. “I’m angry, obviously. I’m angry. Stupid yellow card and now I have to pay.”

That’s a really bad look. The Red Bulls won’t have their leading scorer as they attempt to undo a 2-1 deficit, knowing they need a minimum of two road goals to do the trick.

They won’t be able to put their best foot forward because seemingly no one read the rule book. And double bad look: Wright-Phillips claims he wasn’t trying to interfere (despite jabbing his foot at the pass).

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