Photo by Brad Mills/ USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The MLS Disciplinary Committee dished out fines to players on both D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls for their part in a mid-game fracas, but it was one move they didn’t make that is stealing the headlines on Monday evening.
MLS evidently has denied Fabian Espindola’s red card appeal, meaning that the Argentine forward is suspended for D.C. United’s next match, on Saturday at the Chicago Fire. Espindola was sent off in the 32nd minute of D.C. United’s 1-0 defeat to the Red Bulls last Wednesday for a high boot in a challenge with Dax McCarty.
The Disciplinary Committee also fined D.C. United defender Sean Franklin and midfielder Davy Arnaud, as well as Red Bulls defender Roy Miller for their roles in a confrontation that took place in the 38th minute of Wednesday’s matchup. In addition, D.C. United and head coach Ben Olsen were also fined for the incident as a result of the club’s second violation of the mass confrontation policy. As per league policy, the exact amounts of the fines were undisclosed.
The incident stemmed from a conflict between Miller and D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon. After seeing the two exchange words, Franklin intervened, causing a confrontation that soon included Arnaud. Miller shoved and grabbed Arnaud before referee Mark Geiger diffused the situation.
Here are some more of Monday’s news and notes from around MLS:
CONVERSATIONS WITH BERHALTER CONVINCED POGATETZ TO JOIN TEAM
New Columbus Crew signing Emanuel Pogatetz met with the media for the first time on Monday afternoon and revealed how and why he decided to come stateside.
Pogatetz claimed that after just a few conversations with Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter, he was convinced that it was time to come and join the team right in the middle of the playoff race.
“I had a really good conversation with Gregg Berhalter,” Pogatetz said at the club’s Obetz training ground. “After the first two times we were talking on the phone, I had a really good feeling about coming to this club, that it would be the right choice for me. I think that made the difference in the end, why I decided to come to MLS and especially the Crew.”
Pogatetz also talked about how he hopes to be a “good example” for the younger players on the team, and to use his experience from Europe to help lead the Crew to the playoffs.
SANCHEZ TO MISS 2-3 WEEKS WITH KNEE INJURY
The Colorado Rapids are facing an uphill fight in their battle for postseason play, and that climb is set to be made even tougher due to an injury to Vicente Sanchez.
The 34-year-old midfielder is set to miss at least two weeks with a knee sprain, an injury that previously kept the Uruguayan out for seven games in May and June.
“He’s got swelling in his knee; I just got the memo it’ll be 2-3 weeks,” said head coach Pablos Mastroeni. “When he’s ready, he’ll jump in.”
Sanchez has scored six goals in 14 appearances this season, good for second on the team.
RED BULLS NOT INTERESTED IN STARTING USL PRO RESERVE TEAM
With the success of LA Galaxy II, many MLS clubs are looking towards the model of starting up their very own reserve side in the lower divisions. However, the New York Red Bulls have other plans in mind.
Sporting director Andy Roxburgh says that the Red Bulls aren’t interested in putting together a reserve team, as the club will instead look to come to an agreement with an affiliate side.
“The goal is clearly to have it settled and organized,” Roxburgh said. “We will not have our own team, that much I can tell. We will not have own team.
“We will not be creating our own USL Pro team here. That much I can tell you. We’re in the process of trying to organize our relationship with someone else.”
WHITECAPS ADD PAIR OF HOMEGROWN PLAYERS
The Vancouver Whitecaps have gotten a bit younger by signing two of the club’s most prolific youth stars.
The club announced the signings of 18-year-old midfielders Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos Monday, with Froese set to join up with the senior team immediately. Meanwhile, Bustos is expected to join up with the Whitecaps in January.
Froese, who debuted with the first team in a May Canadian Championship clash with Toronto FC, has earned a callup to the Canadian national team and scored four goals in seven matches with the Whitecaps FC U-23 side during 2014 USL PDL season.
“Kianz has a great technical element to his game and an athleticism that will serve him well as he steps up to the next level,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “He’s worked hard to earn this opportunity and we’re excited to see him continue his progression.”
Meanwhile, Bustos, who also featured for the first team in May, was named the Whitecaps FC Most Promising Player in 2013 and appeared in appeared in all three of Canada’s matches in the 2013 U-17 World Cup, starting twice.
“It’s an honor to sign my first professional contract with the club that has supported me and shown belief in me throughout my development,” said Bustos. “I want to thank my family and friends and all the Whitecaps FC coaches and staff who have helped me achieve my dream.”
The additions of Kianz and Bustos bring the club’s total to 11 all-time Homegrown signings.
EARTHQUAKES SCHEDULE LATE-SEASON INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Earthquakes fans will have one more chance to see their squad take on an international club before the end of the 2014 calendar year.
The Earthquakes announced on Monday that they’ve scheduled a friendly match against C.D. Vida of Honduras, the former club of Earthquakes centerback Victor Bernardez. The match will take place on Oct. 14 at Buck Shaw Stadium. General tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, while a pre-sale is underway for season-ticker holders.
The Earthquakes took on defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid last July in Candlestick Park in San Francisco, falling, 4-3, on penalty kicks.
What do you think of these notes? Do you feel Espindola should have had his red card rescinded? How much do you see Pogatetz helping the Crew late in the season?
Share your thoughts below.