U.S. Open Cup

Cuauhtemoc Blanco fined by MLS


Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco has been fined $7,500 by MLS for his actions during the Fire’s U.S. Open Cup loss against D.C. United on July 8th.

Blanco has been suspended for the next two U.S. Open Cup tournaments (in 2009 and 2010, and potentially longer depending on how far Chicago goes in the tournaments) by U.S. Soccer but avoided an MLS suspension for actions that included punching an opponent and allegedly attempting to gouge the eyes of D.C. midfielder Clyde Simms and allegedly head-butting a member of D.C. United’s match-day staff.

Blanco will be serving an MLS suspension this weekend. He won’t play in Chicago’s match against Chivas USA on Saturday due to a suspension for yellow-card accumulation.

What do you think of the punishment? Should MLS have suspended Blanco? Is a $7,500 fine a just punishment or more a waste of time? Will we ever see the video of Blanco’s actions that D.C. United submitted to U.S. Soccer?

Share your thoughts below.

  • papa bear

    The fine is a total waste of time and the video was on youtube and it showed someone take a swing at a ball and catch mostly gut.

    This whole situation has been blow way out of proportion.


  • Jeff

    They needed some new furniture in the president’s office so the $7,500 will about cover it.


  • Sin2R

    I saw the video, and saw what Blanco did. That said, it wasn’t an MLS game and he should not have gotten a fine or suspension from MLS.

    Did I say I hate Blanco, and I still feel this way?


  • Ives

    Papa Bear, the video footage I’m talking about is the video footage that hasn’t been made available to the public, footage taken by DC’s video people. Apparently there is more than just Blanco’s hook to Simms’ ribs on that video, which is what led to a two-year ban from the Open Cup and fine from MLS.


  • Johnny

    Slow soccer news day…back to sleep… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


  • John

    1. It probably has no significant impact because my understanding is that Blanco wants to end his career with America and may not be in Chicago next year.

    2. Those who say it’s ridiculous to fine Blanco, it was a punch in the gut, etc. forget that…

    –it was a punch in the gut when the ref’s back was turned

    –a attempt to stick someone in the eyes (Steve Goff reported that Simms had a cut right next to his eye the next day)

    –refusal to leave the sideline after the red card

    –then head-butting a staff member (the Fire’s statement was that it wasn’t a head-butt, only that Blanco’s head “grazed” the cheek of the staffer).

    I think it if was really nothing, USSF would have not added an additional penalty and MLS would have done nothing as well. So this seems to imply that the video was pretty damning.

    3. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t mean a lot. It’s potentially good for the Red Bulls. If Blanco is starting to lose his cool, than they might be a candidate in the East for the Red Bulls to leapfrog. Because right now, from the Red Bull’s perspective, it’s not enough for Rojas to be a good player or JPA to get healthy. Some other teams in the East need to start playing poorly. And Chicago is a good candidate for that if Blanco starts to lose it.


  • betinho

    2 years…that’s pretty serious. Don’t you think? I had to read that a couple times to makes sure I read that correctly. I’ve never heard of something like that. Is there precedence for this?


  • George Griffin

    The behavior he demonstrated should have earned him a 5 games suspension and at least a $25K fine. The message to other that such behavior is completely unacceptable would them be very clear. The amount of the fine assigned and lack of an MLS suspension does not send a clear enough message. MLS missed an opportunity,


  • John

    The fine is all relative to the player. Most players making league minimum would most likely not be able to pay their rent with a $7,500 fine.


  • Tim F.

    How did it compare to Ricardo Clark’s actions against Ruiz. I’m surprised that MLS intervened given that it happened in US Open Cup play… sets a new precident doesn’t it?


  • jloome

    The “behaviour he exhibited”, if involving a member of the general public, would be termed criminal assault. The police should be demanding that videotape, but in DC they have bigger things to worry about.

    Think about it: if you videotaped your neighbour headbutting one person and punching another, you don’t think he’d be facing charges?


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    I still say what Ricardo Clark and Dario Sala did was criminal compared to Blanco’s actions.


  • Ben

    no question about his talent and skills, but his well known temeprament and blackouts should not be overlooked, because of his star player tag and age.

    it’s a shame he didn’t get banned for some time, including MLS games.


  • Lloyd Heilbrunn

    So how exactly is the MLS/USSF refusing to release this tape different from the widely criticized act of the NFL destroying the Patriots’ first tapes???

    Will the soccer media stand up against hiding/destroying evidence as most of the NFL media eventually did???


  • Graeme

    $7500 for conduct unbecoming of the league sets a dangerous precendent for guys making $17-$35k a year. For Blanco? It’s a drop in the bucket and he probably will laugh as the deduction comes out of his paycheck.

    As for the incident, keep in mind that DCU has kept the video as hush-hush as possible – read into that whatever you want, but stop assuming that Blanco is guilty of everything the DCU players are accusing on.

    And if you ask me the DCU employee was asking for it. It’s the official’s responsibility to remove the player, not the DCU employee.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is conduct unbecoming – but if you stick your hand in front of a strange dog who’s barking at you, you’ll get bit. There’s lack of responsibility on both sides.


  • Bootsy

    Graeme writes: “And if you ask me the DCU employee was asking for it. It’s the official’s responsibility to remove the player, not the DCU employee.”

    You’re wrong about that. In USOC play, the hosting team is required to provide a staffer to escort ejected players away. This has been debunked about 18,423,561 times now.


  • HomeyBoehme

    I will assume that the MLS is using Blanco as an example that just because you are playing in the USOC does not mean you can’t be punished for being an a**.

    @Bootsy – You got an lol out of me with that last sentence!


  • Rafael

    The fine is a joke. MLS should have let this go. There is no question they were not going to suspend the Mexican version of Beckham.

    I do wish the team would take some action on Blanco, as a way to prevent him or future players from doing stupid things on the pitch. Imagine if this had happened on an MLS primetime match.

    MLS should look at the ending of the Superliga match between New England and Atlante.


  • Christian

    I still think that what Ricardo Clark did was worse.

    All the DC whiners blew this out of proportion and the league was too shook to come up with a rational punishment.


  • KingSnake

    Blanco isn’t Beckham or Landycakes. MLS would not have done it to either of the Golden Children …


  • Squard

    I think Empire Supporters Club should pay the fine for him. Hurting DC players is always a good thing for us!


  • Bootsy

    Christian: How do you know what Ricardo Clark did was worse? Mind, I’m not saying you’re wrong — I’m just asking how you know, since the main thing he got punished for was his actions *off* the field, and the video of that hasn’t been publicly released. Were you at the match, behind the bench?


  • Fumar


    “Think about it: if you videotaped your neighbour headbutting one person and punching another, you don’t think he’d be facing charges?”

    I beleive in such a senario someone has to press charges. So no a punch to the gut during a rec league game would not result in charges. Neither would getting in someone’s face when they ask you to leave.

    Please be serious and look at this rationally.


  • Matt Johnston

    First, no, DC did not blow this out of proportion. They have not released a video tape, although there are bootleg versions out there. If the poor behavior had been on-field only, I would have argued for a two or three game ban and left it at that. But at 35, Blanco has been playing this game long enough to know (and accumulated a few red cards along the way to know) that when you are dimissed you must leave the field and the bench/technical area immediately and head to the showers. I was at the game and it was almost to the start of the second extra time session that he finally left. (Blanco was ejected at the very end of the first extra time period).

    To be honest, the $7,500 fine is proably not enough in proportion to Blanco’s salary of $2.7 million for this year, but at least it is something and it sends a message to all MLS players, “don’t embarass us in non-MLS competitions by acting poorly.”

    This was the right move for the MLS.


  • Bootsy

    MetroTard wrote: “How does the MLS have jurisdiction over a US Soccer-run tournament?”

    They don’t; so MLS couldn’t have suspended Blanco from playing in any number of USOC matches like the USSF did. But the player agreement with the league includes some mumbo-jumbo about players representing the league and needing to be of high moral character blah blah blah. I don’t know the exact language, but that’s the perspective from which the league is operating.

    Not to pick on you, I promise, but at this point the biggest reason I wish this whole fiasco would go away is so that we could all stop covering the same things over and over and over.


  • Bootsy

    Matt Johnston wrote: “They have not released a video tape, although there are bootleg versions out there.”

    Bootleg versions of what happened *off-field*? Youtube has the Comcast broadcast of what happened on-field; are you saying the video that DCU gave the USSF that shows what happened off-field is circulating? That’s definitely what I’d like to see.


  • TCompton

    I wonder if the punishment would been the same if someone like Kovalenko was the player in question, not Blanco, who is arguably the Leagues best DP signing.


  • TCompton

    I wonder if the punishment would been the same if someone like Kovalenko was the player in question, not Blanco, who is arguably the Leagues best DP signing.


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