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MLS levies suspensions and fines on three players, one head coach



The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee was busy this week, handing out suspensions and fines to three players and one head coach.

FC Dallas left back Jair Benitez, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kekutah Manneh, Colorado Rapids midfielder Hendry Thomas, and Thomas’ manager Oscar Pareja have all been suspended for one match and fined an undisclosed amount for various actions this past week.

The Rapids are now forced to play their next match at the Chicago Fire on June 19 without their head coach and two starters, as forward Atiba Harris earned a straight red card in the team’s 2-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday.

Thomas earned his suspension and fine for a “reckless challenge that endangered the safety of an opponent” on Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour, while Pareja will miss the match for leaving his technical area to separate players during a short-lived scrum along the sideline.

Benitez was given a suspension for a head-butt on Portland Timbers forward Fredric Piquionne in the first-half of the Timbers 1-0 victory last Saturday. Benitez will now miss FC Dallas’ next match against Sporting Kansas City this Saturday.

Finally, the Whitecaps rookie Manneh, who acknowledged he had made a mistake immediately when the incident occurred, has been suspended for the Whitecaps next match against Chivas USA on Wednesday for “endangering the safety of an opponent.” Manneh was shown a yellow card in the second half for leaving his studs down and coming across the face of opposing goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.


What do you make of these suspensions? Do you agree with them? Which team will miss their suspended player the most for their next match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Or the forearm/elbow to Piquionne’s head which could have been a by the book red for last defender which also drew blood. Not even a call. Watching in real time, you could see Loyd knew exactly where Piquionne was and intentionally impeded his progress to avoid being blown by. Two missed reds and Dallas could have been reduced to 9 after this (and the missed red for the Benitez headbutt). I’m all for letting play go on, but you gotta call this stuff, especially when arms, or heads make contact with faces and draw blood.

    These referees are seriously over their heads, and like DCUWRA above, I feel players are going to continue to get hurt if these infractions never go punished, or are only possibly reprimanded after the fact. Seems like you have a 50/50 chance to get away with many of these infractions. Good odds, why not?

  2. Nothing for the elbow to Woolards head that caused him to bleed profuesly even though it was through the protective head gear?

    Typical. Someone is going to get really hurt soon, and MLS is going to be to blame.

  3. Good to see that MLS cleans up after their consistently poor refereeing.

    Bad to see MLS having to clean up after their consistently poor refereeing. The guy for the Timbers v Dallas game (along with his lines) were horrific all game, both ways.

    Sad that this is a common weekly theme. MLS needs to figure out the refing debacle, and soon.

  4. I laud the MLS’s disciplinary committee, but at the same time, am completely shocked how in-game refereeing continues to mishandle actions that, afterward, warrant suspensions. (IE, Benitez not even getting a caution for the head-butt.)

    Is there any kind of oversight on the referees who miss such blatant activity on their watch?

  5. makes sense re: Pareja & Thomas. harsh tackles by Thomas throughout the game, and Pareja is said to have been angered by rookie head coach Watson- really?


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