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MLS discipline ticker: Davies fined for dive, Soler’s comments cost 10K and more

Davies (Getty Images)

Major League Soccer has fined D.C. United forward Charlie Davies $1,000 for his dive that earned a penalty in the waning minutes of United's 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake last weekend.

"The MLS Disciplinary Committee ruled that Charlie Davies intentionally deceived the officials and gained an unfair advantage which directly impacted the match," MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez said in a statement released by the league. "This type of behavior tarnishes the image of the League, is detrimental to the game and will not be tolerated.

"Moving forward, all instances of behavior that serves to deceive and that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including a fine, suspension or both."

Davies ran at RSL defender Chris Wingert and appeared to dive without being contacted in the penalty area. Referee Terry Vaughn awarded the penalty nonetheless, and Davies converted the ensuing spot kick to salvage a point for United.

In other MLS disciplinary news:


MLS fined the New York Red Bulls $10,000 for general manager Erik Soler's statement that publicly bashed the officiating crew from New York's 3-3 draw with the Portland Timbers.

"The statement released by Red Bull New York this week undermines our substantial efforts to continue improving all aspects of our competition," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a league release.

Soler wrote on Monday:

"We have carefully reviewed the film of our match against Portland last night and I can safely say that the level of refereeing was absolutely below the standards of what is required for a MLS match and completely unacceptable.

"First, the red card given to Thierry Henry was inexplicable. There was no violent conduct on his part whatsoever and this decision was made by a linesman who was more than half a field away. Second, in any soccer game, there is no way that one team can draw 20 more fouls than the other team, especially in a match where one team drew just five fouls. I have never seen this occur in my 30 years in the game.

"We are aware that U.S. Soccer and MLS are working hard to improve the officiating in this country and we support those efforts wholeheartedly. However, if we want to continue increasing the level of play, we cannot let these types of refereeing performances occur. We look forward to speaking with the League to appeal Thierry’s automatic red card suspension and expect that it will be rescinded so that he is available for our match Thursday in Seattle."

Henry did not end up being eligible to play in Thursday night's match.


MLS fined the Los Angeles Galaxy $5,000 for violating the league's injury report rules. The league's disciplinary committee determined that the Galaxy purposefully left David Beckham's name off the injury report ahead of the club's game at Colorado despite knowing that he wouldn't play because of back spasms.


What do you think of the fines? What kind of a message do you think each one sends?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Exactly. If the offensive player simulating a foul to create a scoring chance (that results in a call) is a reviewable and suspendable offense, then a defensive player committing a foul to deny a scoring chance that isn’t called must also be one.

  2. Isn’t the new guideline to fine players whose diving influenced the outcome of a match? The point isn’t that Davies dived, but that his dive earned the PK that tied the match.

  3. Hah! MLS made a deliberate decision in the off-season to do a better job protecting players who had the ball. Not just injurious tackles like the one to Morales. But even plays that didn’t result in injuries. The idea is to reward attacking soccer (or at least posession) and make it tougher to win by being a bunch of “hard men” who play physically. You don’t want to make it harder to call PKs–that actually rewards dirty play.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for Davies–far from it. But let’s be honest here–there’s probably a lot more illegal play on the part of defenders (from shirt grabbing to kicking away from the ball to trash talking) than there is involving players when they have the ball.

    Finally, let’s look at your scenario. Same game, the RSL goal (PK, handball against Simms) is not called even more than it is. What if the league goes back and says “when the ball plays the hand, we’re not awarding PKs in that situation so we’ll also invalidate RSL’s PK so the game still ends in a draw”? See, the reality of retroactive game decisions is that players and coaches make decisions based on what’s happening with the game. RSL goes up a goal so they play differently. DCU goes down a goal so they play differently. Heck–if the match was still 0-0 at that point, maybe Davies never enters the game? That’s the problem with retroactive “solutions” like you propose.

  4. I hear what you’re saying, but…let me pose this to you. If the ball barely crosses over the goal line (where it should result in a goal kick) and a player quickly is able to bring it back in the referee does not make the call, should the player stop and just give the ball to the other team? If you know you’ve fouled someone, should you stop running and tell the ref “hey I just fouled that guy, do something about it?” That’s what the referee is for!

  5. Uh, yeah you can. If you can stay on your feet, you stay on your feet and continue playing. Going down when you do not have to shouldnt even enter a players mind. Do you see Messi diving, ever?

    Diving is cheating. No argument can be made of that.

  6. That is the dumbest thing I have ever seen posted. You know what a player should do to try to do everything to help their team? Do everything they can to stay on their feet and get a chance at a legitimate goal. Good players do not need to dive or even think about it.

    Diving is cheating. You cannot argue that. It is cheating – plain and simple. It is a disgrace to the game and needs to be eliminated. Fine, suspend, tie them up and whip them. Do whatever it takes to stop this practice of diving.

  7. No it’s $1000 for 1 stolen point, $5000 for your millionaire part timer to have the weekend off, and $10000 for complaining that your Frenchy got caught slapping like a girl.

  8. “Eliminate diving”–interesting thought.

    1. We can’t even talk about it intelligently. When “we” (meaning most Americans) talk about “diving” we don’t even mean the same thing. Sometimes it means a player who isn’t fouled pretending he was fouled. Sometimes it means there’s contact (a foul) but a player goes down easily (often b/c the foul took away an advantage). Sometimes it means a player is fouled but in order to draw a card (or force a call) the player will show anguish/pain/apparent amputation. But these usually all get lumped together and called “diving” when they’re usually separate issues. Frankly, most of the “diving” I see in matches is not an instance of a player going down when he hasn’t been touched.

    2. I applaude the idea of after the match, assigning fines and even suspensions in some cases, for calls that were missed during the match. But it’s important to draw some lines on that. For instance, does anyone doubt that on most corner kicks you could call 3-6 distinct fouls on every corner? There’s so much clutching and grabbing going on. Are we going to call those retroactively? B/c certainly some of it decides games. Realistically, the focus needs to be on violent, dangerous play. Beyond that, it starts to get tricky–where do you make retroactive calls? You need to make sure it’s a pretty clear line.

  9. Tiny fines won’t deter anyone. MLS should have suspended Davies, and should do the same for all egregious dives.

    Soler was on the mark. I don’t care who’s responsible for training and assigning referees. The only way things will get better is if people with influence speak the truth.

  10. Stop using the Federation refs and the dark side of the force…..surely there’s got t be a rebel alliance that’s willing to lend out a few reffing crews for our matches.

  11. There is only one answer to diving: more referees. Having one MLS referee cover a pitch that is larger than an NFL field (6 referees) will automatically lead to acting. The players only act because they know that the ref is 25-30 yards away.

    Soccer needs one field ref per half field, one sideline ref per half field and one goal line ref per half field. Sideline and goal line refs advise the field refs in the half that the call is to be made.

  12. you are going way overboard by calling these athletes cheaters. if you are competitive to the degree that it takes to be a professional athlete, then you can’t stop and ask whether what you are doing is ethical. that is what referees and rules are for.


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