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MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends De Luna and three others, reduces Chavez suspension



The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee was busy this week handing out suspensions to four different players around the league.

The Committee announced on Wednesday one-match suspensions to Chivas USA defender Mario de Luna, Vancouver Whitecaps defender Johnny Leveron, Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle, and Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe.

De Luna’s suspension comes for what the Committee calls “aggressively retrieving the ball” from a ball boy in the 86th minute of Chivas’ match against the Portland Timbers. Leveron was judged to have committed a “reckless challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent,” in the match against the LA Galaxy.

Buddle was also suspended for a reckless challenge during his side’s match against Columbus Crew midfielder Tony Tchani, while Watson-Siriboe was suspended for violent conduct towards Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio, after the RSL defender kicked at the head of Di Vaio while the two were tangled on the ground.

All of the suspended players will serve their suspensions during their team’s next matches, set to take place this Saturday or Sunday.

The Committee did not hand down suspensions to Crew midfielder Jairo Arrieta for his elbow on Rapids defender Drew Moor, Earthquakes midfielder Sam Cronin for his studs up challenge on Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales, or Philadelphia Union defender Bakary Soumare for his off the ball shoulder on Chicago Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber also announced that San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Martin Chavez’s two-match suspension had been reduced to one game, leaving him available for the Earthquakes match on Saturday against the Rapids.

Chavez had been suspended originally for an elbow to the head of Toronto FC defender Logan Emery. Chavez and the Earthquakes reportedly appealed the decision and won the appeal.

What do you make of these suspensions? Do you agree with the decisions? Should De Luna be suspended for trying to get the ball from a Timbers ball boy? Should the league have suspended Arrieta, Cronin, and Soumare as well?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I am not really sure how Chavez could win his appeal. It was a clear elbow after the whistle, even the San Jose coaching staff admitted that they assumed it would of been a red card. This league and its very inexperienced refs are making it really hard for anyone to look at this league with credibility.

    • I’ll admit I’m ignorant to the criteria for suspending players multiple gams but I’m inclined to agree with you. It was a pretty bush-league play, that was plainly obvious to just about everyone watching.

      Not like he can say it was unintentional either. He bent over and elbowed him in the head, pretty blatant.

      • Some people say Chavez was kicked at and he elbowed in response. I don’t recall the kickout, but if their appeal was that the elbow was retaliatory and that the initial kick should have been suspended as well… maybe the committee found some middle ground. I dunno, even that would seem fickle to me.

        Players should not be allowed to harass ball boys, but there should be a clear punishment to teams for ballboys that go out of their way to interfere with the game. I know it’s good fun to help out the home team with quick service and slow down away teams; but it really shouldn’t be encouraged. It’s nice that some players have memories of being ball boys for their fav teams growing up, it would be lame if they had to make it semi-professional getting unbiased staff for each game.

    • Yes, it should have been A red card, which calls for a 1 game suspension, which is probably why the San Jose coaching staff did not appeal the 1st game suspension, just the 2nd.

      If the Disciplinary Committee wants to call all the shots retroactively, then they need to spell out exactly what offense gets “x” number of games suspension, watch every single game with scrutiny, and then apply it consistently across the board. It’s the seemingly arbitrary nature of their decisions that are frustrating to so many.

      • Good point, it’s likely reduced to 1 game to match red-card suspension. Though I suppose the committee could argue back that the 2nd game helps offset the fact that Chavez got to keep playing in the initial game.

  2. Not sure I agree with the suspension for DeLuna for the ball boy incident. The kid should give the player the ball. I know it was a Timbers throw in and not a Chivas throw in so the kid was right in a way. I just think these ball boys need to respect that the players are trying to do their job. Give the player the ball and let the ref take care of letting the player know it’s not his throw-in. Plus, I thought the main point of a ball boys job is to insure a ball is readily available

    • Actually the rulebook states that the ball kid should take direction from the referee and does not state anything about the players themselves. While the ball kid might have been doing it because it worked in favor of the home team he did the exact right thing.

      • Okay but the ref already gave DeLuna a yellow for it which means he is already missing a match. With this ruling he will now miss two games. The kid could have said something or pointed to the ref. Instead he cradled it away from the player. These players are in the heat of the game. If the ball boy really was doing what he should be then I think MLS is putting these kids in a potentially bad situation.

      • No matter what, there is no excuse for pushing anyone, esp not some kid.
        In the heat of the game while going for a ball, players push each other, whatever, that’s nowadays expected in the game.

        people outside the white lines do not expect to be pushed, period. nor should they have to.

      • Was he really pushed? I don’t honestly recall exactly, but I thought De Luna just kind of reached around him trying to get the ball.

      • Okay but the ref already gave DeLuna a yellow for it which means he is already missing a match.

        You might want to think that one through a bit more. You’re saying because he racked up a bunch of yellow cards in previous games, he should be given a less severe punishment.

    • If you look at the replay the ball that had just gone out is sitting on the ground right next to the ball kid…de luna should have tried to grab that ball…he has no excuses…

      • Not only that, but before pushing the kid, at 85:22 he knocks Rodney Wallace to the ground, who’s trying to recover that loose ball to throw it in. He was acting like an idiot and deserved two yellows. He got one game, but he should have gotten two (plus the game he misses for yellow card accumulation).

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