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Johnson’s red card rescinded on appeal

Sorin Stoica, Eddie Johnson

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Eddie Johnson will be eligible to play this Saturday for D.C. United after a decision from an independent review panel.

The 30-year-old forward was shown an early exit on Saturday when referee Juan Guzman controversially sent off Johnson in the 82nd minute of D.C. United’s 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution. Guzman said after the game that a challenge Johnson made on Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe represented “serious foul play,” worthy of a sending off.

United appealed the decision, and the review panel unanimously voted to rescind the red card, leaving Johnson available to play on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. Per MLS, the three-member panel consists of representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association, and the Professional Referees Organization.

Johnson had just come back from a one-game suspension given for a strong challenge on Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Johnson has scored one goal and has one assist in 10 games with D.C. United this season.


What do you think of this news? Glad to see Johnson’s red card rescinded? Do you think it was a red card offense in the first place?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. DC actually lucked out with EJ’s red card. Think of how many offside calls they avoided with EJ off the field!

  2. Since they punished EJ after the Montreal game, you think they’d at least have a look at Bunbury’s bloody hit on Fernandez. That deserves a suspension.

    • Get serious. It was a shoulder charge and Fernandez stumble is what put him in danger. The day a player makes it through an MLS with *only* a fat lip …

  3. It’s too bad they can’t get another shot to get the tying goal, but at even strength. Damage done.

    Honestly, I think he got a bum rap on the suspension for the run-in with Perkins, too.

  4. How and Why? He behaves like he doesn’t want to be on the field. They might as well let him get the free vacation

    • you are so clueless… everyone that bothers bashing Johnson does not watch a minute of this play… it is all hyperbole from what you hear others say about him. Eddie was playing fine in the match he was sent off in.

  5. It was a mistake to give it. I’m surprised they rescinded it, but I think it was the right move.
    Same ref (Guzman) screwed DC United by inexplicably (and this was confirmed by FIFPro or some other organization) giving a yellow when EJ was taken down on a breakaway, and left the crew defender on the field without a red.
    Just keep him off DC United games for the rest of the year please. Spread his mistakes around the league.

    • The International Federation of Professional Footballers weighed in on a call in the MLS? I doubt it.

      I think you meant PRO, the Professional Referees Organization.

      • Yep. I just wasn’t sure which acronym it was. Who can keep them straight. At least I got the PRO part right. 🙂

  6. Guzman did not say “serious foul play”…he said “violent conduct”. The MLS website reported it incorrectly.

    • Shuffling around “why” he was given the card may be part of the excuse for rescinding it. It looked to me like he was bumped from behind pretty badly, the bumper takes a shot at a steal and misses, and after the foul is called EJ takes a swipe at him with his leg, though it’s a glancing blow if it even hit. By suggesting the card was for the non-violent 50/50 challenge and not the little swipe after the whistle, it’s easier to say it was a phantom call. People often go sprawling from 50/50 plays where both are diving in. But I think the ref could be calling the prone shot after.

      • You got it right, I think. The ref for sure called him for the swipe he took at Rowe while he was down, not the foul. Not particularly violent, but dirty, and worthy of getting tossed from the game. Unfortunately for him, by rule that comes with a extra game tacked on. I have no problem with him being allowed to play next game, but in no way should this decision imply that the ref got it wrong. He was right there to see the play, and he got it spot on, IMHO.

      • The ref absolutely got it wrong if he called it Violent Conduct.

        VC needs to connect to be considered VC. That little swipe didn’t, and even if it had, it wasn’t violent. It was more like, “Guy stumbles because opponent is tangled up in his legs.”

    • I think what happened is that the disciplinary committee lowered the charge from violent conduct (two game ban) to a simple red (one game). The dc cannot revoke a red card, so this was the most they could do. Then, once it was a simple red, the international review committee revoked the red.


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