If you are wondering what’s new with the Cuauhtemoc Blanco situation, the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave does a good job getting the Chicago take on the events of last Tuesday. He also put to rest growing rumors about Blanco having a run-in with a police officer at the game.
And those of you who were up in arms about MLS yanking the video of Blanco’s punch thrown at Clyde Simms had a gripe. According to an MLS source, a league employee mistakenly requested that the videos be taken down from YouTube. Apparently the mix-up occurred because someone thought it was an MLS match, when it wasn’t. I’ve been told that the video was to be put back up, though I wasn’t able to find it.
So what next?
An MLS suspension for Blanco is not going to happen, though a U.S. Open Cup suspension should come down soon. And for those of you wondering, Chicago next faces D.C. United on Aug. 16th at Toyota Park. The Fire won’t be returning to D.C. during the regular season, but as we have seen in recent years, there is always the post-season.
The whole incident does raise some serious questions about MLS and the role it can take in sanctioning an MLS player. At what point can the league step in and punish a player for behavior that casts a bad light on the league? This is a general question, and not one specifically targeted at Blanco, who at this point seems to have been guilty of little more than the punch. That aside, at what point would MLS get involved? Could an MLS player theoretically assault fans, punch police officers or maybe a referee and face only U.S. Open Cup sanctions if it was an Open Cup match? Would U.S. Soccer have to step in with some all-encompassing punishment?
An MLS source tells me this whole issue is being looked at very closely in the wake of Tuesday’s incident and it will be very interesting to see if any policies are changed or established as a result of Blanco’s run-in with D.C. United.
What do you think of this situation? Share your thoughts below.