MLS- LA Galaxy

What should Beckham's punishment be?

DavidBeckhamVillain (ISIPhotos.com)

David Beckham lost his cool, and now we will find out just how much Major League Soccer is willing to let its biggest star get away with.

In case you missed it, Beckham deliberately kicked not one, but two soccer balls at San Jose's Sam Cronin as Cronin lay on the ground late in Saturday's LA Galaxy-Earthquake match. Beckham was issued a yellow card at the time, but the MLS Disciplinary Committee could add something to the one-game suspension he is set to serve for yellow card accumulation.

The big question now is whether MLS will really do that, or will the league let Beckham off lightly yet again. In my FOX Soccer piece on the incident, I discuss the league's history of letting Beckham off with little or no punishment for offenses that have earned other players fines and suspensions.

Here is video Saturday's incident:

What should happen to Beckham now? Based on precedent, Beckham should at least face an additional three-game suspension along with the one game suspension he is already set serve (FC Dallas' Brek Shea was hit with a three-game suspension for kicking a ball at a match official earlier this season).

A combined four-game suspension would send Beckham the message that he simply can't get away with such behavior. Anything less and MLS will look like it is favoring its biggest star yet again.

What do you think MLS should do? Does Beckham deserve a longer suspension, or is the one-game ban punishment enough for his latest transgression?

Share your thoughts below.


    The act was not nearly as bad as what I had read about. To look at it a different way, is the act being over blown because it is Beckham? I also think danger plays a part, and there was no danger from a soft lob 30yds away. Silly


  • ex_sweeper

    This thread is why the MLS D..C needs rethinking if not disbanding. The LOTG gives the center referee plenty of authority to control bad behavior. Knowing that the D.C. will step in after the game gives a strong incentive for refs to wimp out and abdicate that authority. It shouldn’t be the DC’s role to ensure Fairness, Justice and Just Plain Goodness. Sometimes life just ain’t fair, and trying to make it that way has unintended consequences that the game isn’t over until the D.C. says its over.


  • sevsarkissian

    I’m curious as to the discipline for the referee, Hilario Grajeda, not calling the 3 handball violations he acknowledged….

    And yes, Cronin or SJ should get fined for simulation, something MLS had a point of emphasis on this year.

    2 games for Becks…and we move on.


  • sevsarkissian

    This and what Brek Shea did are not the same. Shea kicked the ball directly at the referee in frustration…

    Becks kicked the ball in the area to wake up Cronin from his obvious flop/simulation in stoppage time.

    The ref should understand it is a MINIMUM of 3 minutes, he blew that one too…


  • sevsarkissian

    Other than this article campaigning for a lengthy suspension of Becks, the after match exaggerated “melee” was heavily instigated by the San Jose back-up Goalkeeper & a few other San Jose players

    …it was funny to see joker Lenhart talk things through with Becks after the game…


  • soccerhorn

    All MLS refs are assessed after every game and their schedules adjusted according. If Grajeda continues to get games as a Center Ref, you can assume that, in the eyes of US Soccer, he did nothing wrong. Which would be a travesty; dude blew that game six ways from Sunday.

    And as to Beckham’s soft punt of the ball, that was actually pretty funny. Nice shot! And since Cronin was obviously near death at that moment, he should be thanking Bex for bringing him back to life!


  • Eddie

    break shea was a light kick also, beckham was deliberately in anger….i think he deserves at least a 4 game suspension if not maybe 5, with fines, if they dont it will be BS, and the committee has some explaining to do


  • Joe

    He kicked a ball twice at a player and he headbutts another. His actions deserve additional time. Cronin was starting to sit up, was down a short period of time and probably just had the wind knocked out of him. As many others have said others have gotten 3-4 games for similar actions (Marques and Shea) and MLS should not treat Beckham any differently. It should have been a straight red but unfortunately USSF refs are not upto the task sometimes. I think that is one of the worst aspects of MLS compared to the top divisions is that the refs are below international standards.


  • sevsarkissian


    Yes, USSF refs are a joke and can’t handle a top division game. They lack the quality and professionalism.


  • PGS

    beckham should get an award for this. also, the clock should just stop for “injuries.” enough of the nonsense already; it’s embarrassing


  • joe k

    marquez was suspended 3 games last year — for both throwing the ball at donovan and also simulating injury. so an equivalent punishment for beckham would be 2 games.


  • Duneman

    Becks has better aim…he was able to hit the player from across the field and avoid the ref ;-)


  • ViperLAG

    Before I write anything on the matter, I will admit I am a Galaxy season ticket holder and supporter. Most likely I would give Becks an addtl. 1 game suspension (since he is already suspended one match for yellow card accumulation). That being said, as a fan, I support him 100% for caring that Cronin was deliberately stalling for time while lying there injured (as you can see he wasn’t injured once he felt the ball hit him he quickly got up unfazed). There is my 2 cents on the matter.

    What I want to know from the league is when are they going to start policing the piss poor officiating that constantly takes place game in and game out. I have yet to see a match that I could actually walk away from and say that “that was a well officiated match.” Sadly, I cannot. From the side officials that can never keep up with last man and miss offsides calls to the inept head official on the field that spends more time in the gym working out there upper body (ala Ed Hockely for you NFL fans) rather than boning up on the actual rules of MLS. One word – PATHETIC! It was my understanding that a new body was formed to manage refs in MLS. I think it is called PRO. So much good that has done thus far.


  • Peretz48

    Without question, his punishment should be to shave off that ugly goatee and mustache


  • Me

    How has no one noticed the fact beckham was kicking the ball at the San Jose player that had punted the ball downfield instead of throwing it over the end line 5 yards away. Cronin was caught by a mis-hit kick. Beckham even starts pointing angrily and yelling at the guy. Rewatch the video just as it switches to the wide angle you can see the guy punt the ball downfield to delay the game.

    Beckham’s reaction was certainly over the top, uncalled for, and deserving of punishment, but everyone saying he was attacking a referee or an injured player is flat out ignoring the evidence in front of them.


  • El Camino

    Ives, you’re overreacting. The yellow was appropriate. Cronin should get a yellow for faking an injury. Look how he pops up after being hit with the ball!


  • Rudi

    You know what would eliminate the “success” of feigning injury to waste time? Stopping the clock. Saying the ref “should just add more time onto” the stoppage time”… fact is that they DON’T. A whole stadium full of people screaming at you to blow your whistle is very influential. This has been statistically proved- referees stoppage time at home team games are longer when it benefits the home team because of the pressure from the fans.

    Eurosnobs- go ahead and bash… but the league WAS onto something with the countdown clock. For all the calls for goaline technology (an obvious good change to the game albeit through a new method) counting down to zero and stopping the clock for injuries, ball out of bounds, etc. would end the “success” of injury faking.


  • Scott

    My thought exactly. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Except if a ball is kicked at me. Then I am not really hurt. Suspend them both, or none at all.


  • bsnowden222@gmail.com

    honestly, I loved it…that guy was flopping’ and Becks was fed up. To those who were “appalled” or “shocked”….quit being such a Nancy, seriously! Becks shows some passion and get up in peoples’ grills! You keep that attitude up and we see more games like that and you might actually start to see Americans start to care about soccer


  • Ben

    Saw what Beckham did and can’t believe the “outcry”. Damn right he kicked the ball at the “injured” player who was miraculously healed by the incident. It was hardly a cardinal offense..flopping and laying around like babies is probably the single largest criticism of Americans who don’t like soccer. Wouldn’t hurt them to toughen up a bit…maybe more Americans would watch


  • Rory

    A three game ban served during the Olympics, of course so he can be a special ambassador for Team GB.


  • tim

    They have thought of this. If this rule is implemented, one team could simply rough up the other team so they have to play short handed.

    Good in thought, bad in practice.


  • monty

    Alright guys lets give credit where credit is due. That was a great hit by beckham.


  • peterjh

    The dude was time wasting , so Beckham starts volleying balls at him. Call it what it is: hilarious!

    No LA fan here, but Beckham gets my respect for that. Great stuff!


  • Goran Hunjak

    I want MLS to have the countdown clock again. And I like shootouts to be back too. Who say shut up to me?


  • Brain Guy

    MLS will never adopt a “stop the clock for injuries” rule. The folks at FIFA would have a collective meltdown. As an alternative, how about a stadium or TV clock that kept track of the aggregate length of stoppages in a half — sort of like checking on the fourth official’s work? Then we could see if the added time really accounted for all of the time-wasting. I also favor automoatically adding an extra minute for any substitution where the departing player walks off the field instead of running.

    Even though I was at the game, I don’t recall how forcefully Marquez threw the ball at Donovan, but I don’t think it was thrown with anywhere near the force of Beckham’s kick. Anyone else remember?


  • Ceez

    First of all, they’re called “laws”, not rules. Secondly, the “rules” say that? Really? I’m a referee, I’ve read the Laws Of The Game inside and out but I’ve never seen that (nor the word “gentlemanly”) anywhere in the Laws. Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) says this act — Unsporting Behavior — is punishable via a caution. It’s NOT a red card offense.

    There are seven cautionable offenses and SEVEN send-off offenses. This clear offense does not fit any of the send-off offenses. Ergo, the caution was appropriate.

    My point is the following: let’s not let our emotions takeover and blow things out of proportion simply because of how we feel about his special privileges. The Laws are the Laws and they need to be upheld as written…not just made up on the fly.


  • Four Cents

    I like that Beckham still has fire in his belly, but he went overboard with his actions and should be punished accordingly (three game ban like Shea received). With David’s ball kicking skills increasing when he’s pissed off- his Galaxy teammates should find a way to do that before every free kick he takes.. :P GOOOOOOAL! Also, Cronin’s punishment should be that he has to wear hello kitty band aids all over his persons for being such a little whinny girl…


  • S. Pearce

    I blame myself…for making the right decision to not include him in Team GB. Behaving like a 5 yr old lad does not impress me. Maybe he was trying to show he should qualify as a U23 player based on maturity. Act like a professional. The English FA would not put up with this behavior and neither should the MLS. “Ten Brave Lions, One Stupid Boy”


  • Leveller

    Well Cheez you have never been a referee for long or are quite young and given the website not British.

    I am a referee or was and retired of 30 years and the wording was changed in 1997 as it was felt that non-Brits could not grasp the concept of acting ungentlemanly. That said nor can many players understand unsporting behaviour as most attempt to cheat to some degree or other.

    I also disagree with you on hitting another player with the ball. Depending on the how and intent there is violent conduct (with force and intent to hurt) and or not with indent. It is clear that Beckham wanted to put the ball into the group, was it the intent to do with force no. If I see the video correctly he did put his face into another player and although the final whistle gone he is still on the field of play and under the jurisdiction of the Referee and the Laws of the game. That is a red card.

    As for Team GB not liking MSL, well as we say in England a load of old cobblers. There are a number of withdrawals due to injury and cover is required, Becks cant provide that cover plus given the Olympic games are for young men and his legs are gone. This is from an admirer. No room for sentiment I am afraid. Look at Spain, same issues many talented players will not be there.


  • Josh


    what are you people on about? that was brilliant!

    you guys whine about the smallest things hyped up by the media. Put on some glasses!


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