MLS- D.C. United

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Silva for diving


Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com


The MLS Disciplinary Committee is back and Luis Silva is the first to feel its wrath this season.

MLS announced on Thursday that the Disciplinary Committee unanimously agreed to fine Silva an undisclosed amount for diving in D.C. United’s 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew this past Saturday. Silva was deemed of simulating in the 79th minute of the match at RFK Stadium despite the match official making no such call.

Here is video of the play:


What do you think of the MLS Disciplinary Committee’s decision? Wishing they would reveal how much these fines are worth? Should Silva have been punished more harshly by being suspended for a game for his blatant dive?

Share your thoughts below.

  • T$

    Ref got it right, why fine him. Mauro Diaz clearly dives in the FCD-MTL, changes the game, and nothing?


    • Increase0

      I like that they fined him. Take like a week of salary.(unless he is on the minimum cause… that would be mean)

      If leagues are serious about eliminating diving, this is what you do. A yellow isn’t much of a punishment.


      • D

        Yep, real punishments are what is necessary to take that ugly mark out of a beautiful sports.

        I like that they are not disclosing the fine amounts. It should probably be incremental for repeat offenders as well.


    • Aaron

      There is a difference between a flop and a dive. A flop is when the player goes down under contact, even if that contact is minimal. A dive is an attempt to con the referee when no contact was made. Since there was contact on that play, Diaz couldn’t have possibly dove. The penalty call is still soft, at best, but it was definitely not a dive.

      (And for the record, I’m not an FCD fan).


    • Nate Granatir

      To give some deterrent. Otherwise there’s absolutely no downside to diving, only a potential upside, which essentially encourages players to dive.


    • Chodilicus

      Why fine him? Really? The ref did not get it right, it should have been a yellow. For me there needs to be much more harsh punishments for diving and embellishing. It is cheating, period. There is no room for it in the sport. Without fines or suspensions, the players will keep doing it. If they dive a couple times per game, it only takes a few refs to be out of position or really gullible to change a whole season with a few more goals via PK that should not have been.

      A firm message needs to be sent that no diving will be tolerated in MLS, so don’t even think about it.


      • Lil' Zeke

        When you hear the punctuation mark “period” cross your lips, beware that you might be being stodgy and unimaginative. In the case of embellishment for example, it’s bizarre to blame a fella who’s knocked off the ball for rolling with it to be sure the infraction can be noted by refs 25 yards away. A soccer pitch is a much bigger canvas on which to paint than your precious basketball court


      • Ron

        When you hear “for example” cross your lips, beware you might be bloviating.


  • DCGooner

    This is a good idea as long as its not an inordinate amount of $. These guys don’t get paid much as we all know. Either way kudos MLS! Would like to see this implementing in the Prem!


  • Quit whining about soccer in the US

    I say throw him and others out of the league. Make it not worth the risk.
    It is a disgrace cheating like that.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        Let’s see: how is purposefully lying worse than making a mistake? Hmmmm. If you can’t appreciate the ethical difference, hopefully you can at least see that one kills the game while the other does not.

        (Unless you’re talking about intentional fouls; i.e., “professional fouls.” In which case, those almost always receive an in-game penalty—unlike diving.)


      • Ron

        It is more disgraceful because you are not only cheating the rules, but you are bringing the entire sport into disrepute. There should be a heavy fine and a suspension of at least 1 game.


    • James

      We’re getting a little carried away here. Diving irritates me as much as the next person (well, apparently not as much as you), but most cases are nearly as clear cut as this one. Where do you draw the line of diving, exaggerating a foul, trying to draw a foul, going down when you think you’re fouled, etc. The reality is, it’s rarely black and white, and frankly, MLS doesn’t have a massive diving problem.

      With clear examples like this, great, lets give them a fine and move on. But we don’t need to go nuts with punishing divers.


  • Chris

    That may have been the worst attempt at a dive I have ever seen, he had a bad touch when he should have just been through on goal, poor stuff from a pretty talented player. I would give him a 2 match ban, lets make an example of him, there is no contact in this dive at all, truly awful


  • bb

    Hooray MLS Disciplinary Committee. I hold such contempt for divers. I don’t even like when guys go down too easily. (full disclosure: I’m a defender) They should be fighting to get/keep the ball, beat their defender, and score. Instead too many guys trip over themselves after a strong gust of wind. And the problem is I totally understand. It’s a simple risk/reward decision. Make the risk of diving greater than the potential reward of the free kick. A fine & next game suspension should be adequate.

    If we want soccer in the U.S. to truly become a mainstream sport, then we cannot allow diving of any sort. Have you heard the complaints about European basketball players in the NBA? Marcus Smart in NCAA basketball. Even the new attention this year to the NFL and defenders faking injury to slow down a hurry-up offense. The typical American sports fan hates this behavior, and we need to eliminate it from MLS.


    • CeezNYRB

      A next-game suspension I think is too harsh. Look, I’m absolutely against diving. I also came up my whole life as a defender. So, I totally empathize. But a next-game suspension? As a current referee, I ask “in that case, why not just give the diver a red card?” Obviously, a red card is too harsh of a penalty for a diver. And yes, I’m aware that the red card punishes the team while a next-game suspension would just punish the player. But we’re trying to root out diving (which really just calls into question a player’s integrity), not serious foul play or anything more serious.

      I think the appropriate punishment for diving/simulation would be a fine (as in Silva’s case) and a little bit of a twist which MLS could test out for the world to see how it works. It would garner more attention for the league as a progressive innovator. The additional punishment I’m suggesting is a new rule where the diver is not allowed to start the next match. The diver may still participate in the match but he or she will not be allowed to start. This would put the onus on the coach and teammates to really come down on the diver but it wouldn’t completely hinder the club.

      So, it’s simple: a fine and a ban from starting the next match. If it’s an impact player, what is the coach going to do? Waste an early substitution? If it’s a non-impact player, he or she probably won’t see the pitch for quite a bit.

      In any case, a next-game suspension is too harsh on the team when it’s more the diver’s fault, not the team’s.


      • bb

        Fair enough. That’s a decent enough method to disincentivize diving. I view flopping and diving not as equal to any other foul on the field, but as a knowing & willful effort of cheating. It’s become a known (and well-mocked in the US) part of soccer culture. That’s why I have a strong take against it. It’s not fair to expect the referees to make these calls, plus you don’t see yellows for simulation very often. So I’m all for the league to review video post-game and punish the offender. Just because the player can fool the referee in that moment doesn’t mean he should get away with it.


  • Ian

    Ha! Wondering how I missed that dive until now. That was a beautifully executed flop that could make an Italian weep. Bravo to the disciplinary committee.


  • KingGoogleyEye

    Good approach: post-game video review to fine all divers.

    Better approach: issue post-game yellow for diving (red for diving in the penalty area). Suspend accordingly.

    Best approach: do both of the above AND compile a video of all dives for each team over the previous twenty matches and force teams to play that video before the start of all home games.

    Excellence in Discipline: player with the most dives in the league over the previous ten matches must accessorize his kit by wearing a feather boa around his neck throughout the match (in team colors, of course).


  • Jake

    I remember seeing it live (yes I wasted some time watching DC United play this past weekend). Thought it was a dive, even as a DC fan. I hope this stops him from diving and also stops other players too.


    • Lil' Zeke

      That’s a great question! A bit of a sentence fragment though. On the off chance it’s relevant, would you mind clarifying what you’re talking about?.


  • JoeW

    I’m okay with fining or even suspending players after the game for “crimes” that a committee spots. For instance, there is a lot of off-the-ball violence that doesn’t get caught in the game. At the same match, b/c if a couple of fouls committed by Higuain, DCU’s Fernandez twice just shoved Higuain to the ground when he was making off-the-ball runs.

    But it’s also important to be clear that this is a slippery slope. Same game, PK gets called on Perry Kitchen when Parkhurst goes down without the ball in the penalty area. There was a shirt tug so you can argue that there was a foul there (though obviously an extremely soft foul). But Parkhurst absolute embellished it and went down as if he’d been tripped and shoved. So is it okay to dive if you’ve been fouled? Or do we only fine people if there was no foul called?

    The entire match was a poorly controlled one. At one point near the end of the first half, one DCU player went down, a Columbus player struck the ball so it hit the downed player, a Columbus player then went down (I believe it was a retaliation foul), play was stopped, referees huddled, about 90 seconds were burned and then….everyone just walked off the field as the half had now expired. No cards, no fouls called, no decision on possession.


  • Taylor Peyton

    I don’t think someone ahould be suspended for one dive. That being said, if it’s a regular diver like Keane I’m all for suspensions


  • Forever Orange

    I think this is a good move by MLS. I think a fine (and I like that they don’t disclose it) is appropriate.

    I’d like to see the MLS implement suspensions so that the punishment fits the crime in certain cases. I think if the dive is seen, called and a yellow card issued, no additional action should be taken (assuming MLS players get a small fine for a yellow card). In Silva’s case, a dive that resulted in a no call and no yellow, a fine seems reasonable. Had he been successful in getting the call, I would like to see a more significant fine and a 1 game suspension. Had it resulted in a penalty and a defender being sent off, I would give a more significant fine and 2 or more game suspension.

    The cost must outweigh the benefit. Maybe fine clubs too so that clubs begin cracking down on their own players diving.


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