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Quakes goalkeeper Busch suspended one game for altercation with ball boy

Busch (Getty Images)

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.


What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I didn’t see the incident, but from years of following MLS it’s readily apparent that Jon Busch is a major league a$$hole. Nothing about this surprises me in the least, and I can’t help but think that his obnoxious reputation didn’t help him get the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  2. Jon Busch is one of my least favorite players in the league, have hated him for years, so if he’s suspended I think it’s for the best regardless of whether or not it’s deserved. That’s just me…

  3. “Also, ball kids (and their parents) need to realize they are possibly in harm’s way…from …thrown flares,…Maybe the minimum age for being a ball kid should be raised to 14 or 15.”

    Because when they become teenagers they are no longer flammable?

  4. As someone who has also crossed the line from edgy humor to just plain a$$hole from time to time, I say way to go there, skoolz.

  5. It’s called expecting the players to behave like professionals and use gentlemanly behavior in public, and it’s just fine by a lot more people than you think.

  6. They could but investigators look for patterns in a story by witnesses and ask them misleading questions to see what they say. It’s unlikely that they all got together and agreed on a story about what happened.

  7. Nobody’s condoning hurting kids, but blog comments after the game made it sound like the ball boys had been coached to delay play by withholding the ball. If so, whoever gave them those instructions should share in the punishment. A 10 year old kid isn’t going to do that on their own initiative. Also, ball kids (and their parents) need to realize they are possibly in harm’s way – not only from enraged goalkeepers but from clearances, thrown flares, etc. Maybe the minimum age for being a ball kid should be raised to 14 or 15.

  8. Busch approached him with enough force to knock the boy over. I saw it on TV the day of the game. The kid was 10-12 yrs old. I say he’s lucky to get one game suspension but that’s just me…

  9. And no silently mouthing swear words, either, because if you’re watching the game on tv you might be able to tell what they said.

    Oh, and no grabbing their privates while trying to block a free kick (or any other time during the game) because touching oneself [there] in public sends the wrong message about appropriate behavior in public.

    Also, no weird haircuts. Just cuz they’re weird.

  10. “interviewed people in and around the area”…..hmmm, those fans couldn’t possibly be a little bit biased, could they? and “while we don’t believe there was anything malicious intended or anything that was excessive in force or nature,”….but they decided to punish him anyway. Cheesh….even the ball kid at the time said it was no big deal. How about telling the ball kids from now on to give back the darned ball, for crying out loud!

  11. probably driven (forced) by an overprotective and overzealous parent, this, why else would it have taken over two weeks to come to this decision on a one-match ban.

  12. We may disagree on Onyewu, but sure see eye-to-eye on everything that post. Aggressively grabbing a ball when down by one with the clock running out is a fking fine and suspension?! FTW.


    PS: +1 for working in ‘salubrious.’

  13. I read he decapitated the kid and then started clubbing baby seals on the Cauldron’s twitter feed. Or did he club the baby seals first? I can’t remember.

  14. Folks, this disciplinary committee is on the slippery slope to becoming the morality police of the MLS. Let’s see, the trend of actions penalized so far goes something like this:

    Violent fouls not seen by referee
    Violent fouls seen by referee but not carded
    Violent fouls carded but not sufficient punishment
    Bad language to referees
    Bad language to ball-boys
    Grabbing a ball in a mean way from a ball-boy

    Here are my suggestions for future actions that must be penalized for this salubrious trend to continue…

    Swearing within 100 feet of a field-level mike
    Hocking and spitting anywhere on the field
    Wearing orange boots with blue uniforms

    Here’s to a cleaner and more family-friendly MLS!

  15. I’m absolutely fine.

    Why are you so upset? It’s certainly not related to my comment. Want to talk about it?


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