San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch became the latest player to be punished by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, but his reason for being suspended is one of the more unique ones seen so far this season.
Busch was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for "aggressively retrieving a ball" from a ball boy late into stoppage time in a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City back on May 27 according to a league statement. Busch will miss San Jose's match against the Colorado Rapids next Wednesday, with second-year goalkeeper David Bingham likely to assume his place in the starting lineup.
"There was an incident in added time of the match against Sporting Kansas City wherein we felt that Jon made some contact with a ball kid that we felt could have been avoided," Nelson Rodriguez, MLS executive vice president of competition and game operations and head of the MLS DC, told SBI via telephone.
"From Jon's perspective, he would've preferred for the ball to have been available more quickly than it was, but in the end we hold our players to a high standard, and while we don't believe there was anything malicious intended or anything that was excessive in force or nature, we still believe that a little more discretion should have been displayed."
Despite inconclusive video evidence, Gonzalez said the MLS DC interviewed "people in and around the area" and spoke with Busch before making its decision.
It is the second time this season a player has been disciplined for an act toward a ball boy. Houston's Colin Clark was suspended three games earlier in the season for using an anti-gay slur toward a ball boy during a game in Seattle on March 23.
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