Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

MLS Fines and Suspensions

Colorado's Ciaran O'Brien has been suspended an additional match and fined another $250 for his red card tackle that sidelined Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz for at least a month. Watch the video and tell me what you think of the league-imposed penalties. Meantime, Galaxy defender Abel Xavier was fined an additional $1,250 for his actions and comments following his red card in the 89th minute.

By Steve Goff  |  April 2, 2008; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Midday Kickaround
Next: Missed Opportunities

Comments

In all fairness it's only 250 dollars because the league isn't sure if this is just a really extended flop by Ruiz.

Posted by: DCAustinite | April 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a given Xavier will be fined and red-carded repeatedly throughout whatever short MLS career he has. He's well known as a fly-off-the-handle kinda guy, so no shocker there.

The O'Brien foul, IIRC, didn't seem so intentional to me. It *was* a last-defender type of foul on a streaking Ruiz, but I think the injury was not intended. Nasty foul and worthy of a fine and no more than a 1 game suspension.

Posted by: Beaker | April 2, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the red card is fair as well as the fine. That being said, I think we can consider Ruiz's month out of the game as the suspension handed down by karma for every time he went down without being touched at all.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 2, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

after watching the video, i'm not even sure the red was warranted. he made a play (albeit clumsy) on the ball. And it doesnt look like Ruiz is even the last defender.

Oh well. it will be years before we have decent refs in the league. I have resigned myself.

Posted by: moses | April 2, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

definite red. The ball is three to four yards away when O'Brien maks contact. This wasn't, as some posters seem to confuse, a red card for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity (which is the only time the last defender issue matters.) Neither does "intent" matter--the issue is whether the foul is careless, reckless, or with excessive force. That latter category draws the red, and is fully deserved. Plus, what the h**l is O'Brien doing commiting that kind of foul late in the game, over on the sideline, with his team up 4-0? I would guess that is why Donovan and others were so frosted, appropriately so.

Posted by: macheath | April 2, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Donovan should have gotten a red card and fine as well for putting his hand on O'Brien's throat in the scuffle that followed. Don't see how its conceivable that he doesn't get punished for this.

Posted by: Eugene | April 2, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The O'Brien foul, IIRC, didn't seem so intentional to me. It *was* a last-defender type of foul on a streaking Ruiz, but I think the injury was not intended. Nasty foul and worthy of a fine and no more than a 1 game suspension.

Posted by: Beaker | April 2, 2008 04:40 PM
__________________________________________
Huh? Streaking Ruiz? Let me say this first I HATE Ruiz. Not a fan of his. But,he didn't deserve that. The ball was 3 to 4 feet away (ON THE GROUND)and O'Brien's foot was knee high. O'Brien was not the last defender and he was making no effort to play the ball. Ruiz was not even running, he had stopped and began to make a move when he was chopped down. But then again I guess players in MLS are getting sick of his routine?

Posted by: donkeyrichard | April 2, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a red for the tackle itself, and I can agree with more punishment because of the context... come on, a 4-0 lead in injury time and you're making tackles like that?

Posted by: Adam | April 2, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

what the h**l is O'Brien doing commiting that kind of foul late in the game, over on the sideline, with his team up 4-0?
=================================

Xavier got abused on Colorado's 4th goal. Just got tooled 1v1 and the guy walked in.

A few minutes later Xavier goes 'roid rage and gets tossed for fouling O'Brien.

Then rookie O'Brien comes down and takes out Ruiz.

Posted by: WNT fan | April 2, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the comments thus far regarding O'Brien's tackle and the discipline he received.

I found the Xavier sending off quite funny - he committed the foul, which was a borderline bookable offense, but the ref was going to be lenient since he was already on the yellow. Notice he comes and begins with a lecture with his finger up rather than showing a card. It was Xavier's overreaction that drew the yellow for dissent. That said, I'd like to see him also get an extra game for disrespect of the official - it looked like he even bumped him as well.

Also, it may just be my personal hatred for Donovan, but he had to be given at least a yellow for running across the field and accosting O'Brien.

Posted by: Jonathan W. | April 2, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Ruiz finally resembled a fish flopping out of water for once.

Knee on knee hit, wasn't like he kicked his knee.

Posted by: Give the little fishy some water | April 2, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Given the context, I think it should be at least a 2 game suspension. The dying minutes of a 4-0 game, a meaningless play at midfield, and he comes in that hard and gets nowhere near the ball? It's inexcusable.

Posted by: Marc | April 2, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

O'Brien came in from behind, late, and his tackle was knee-high. I don't think he was looking to hit Ruiz like that, but the tackle was so reckless that he deserved a red card. An additional game? I can see where MLS is coming from, but I think we'll see someone commit a worse tackle this year, get sent off, and not get any additional games.

Donovan should have been booked for running over to shove O'Brien, who was putting his hand up to acknowledge that it was a bad tackle the moment he got off the ground. No big surprise, though, that Okulaja lost track of that, since he is generally not in control of any game he officiates.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | April 2, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the idea of Donovan being fined/suspended, it brings up another issue, which is that the fines structure of MLS doesn't match the salary range.

For example, the $1,250 fine for dissent to Xavier. That amount of money would get my attention, but what about Xavier? What if the same fine were assessed to Donovan?

And yet on the other hand, if the standard for dissent was a fine of, say, $10,000, how often could the league assess such a fine to a minimum salary player?

Posted by: Rob | April 2, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Goff, any news on discipline or fines for the officials? Not sure how Okulaja (sp?) continues to get jobs. Like Xavier said, he is a disgrace. Xavier's ejection and fine as well as O'Brien's are the result of Abby's inability to keep control of a match.

Posted by: ahelms | April 2, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Not sure it was intentional (as in intending to hurt Ruiz) - but definately a red.

That said, Donovan should be fined/suspended also. As he comes in charging and makes contact with O'Brien (his throat!?) - Donovan escalated. If players do that in the NBA - they're fined.

I don't get Donovan. He's talented, I want to like him on the USMNT but if that's his idea of leadership - it explains alot. You didn't see Becks doing that.

Anyone else notice that Ruiz is ignored and left unattended? You'd think one of them might have attended to their wounded.

Posted by: PotomacBoater | April 2, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Xavier should have gotten a longer ban (might) even have helped the team...


Posted by: Alex | April 2, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

ahelms- Whenever they discipline the officials its not announced by press release they are just quietly not given any MLS games and sent to the USL and NCAA until the assesors believe they've straightened themselves out. The assesment is also secret. It might have happened with Abby before.

Posted by: bluemeanies | April 2, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The O'Brien tackle was dirty and deserved more of a fine than that. It does not matter that he's a young guy who doesn't make that much. It was a brutal foul that was totally not needed, especially with his team already up by four goals. Now, the Galaxy will have to employ a strategy once perfected by Steve Sampson - the 4-5-1.

Posted by: abel xavier | April 2, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Donovan is officially the John Terry of USA.

Posted by: Garret | April 2, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The fine on O'Brien is right on. For all of you who think Ruiz "deserve it" are all stupid.

Should have Donovan gotten a red for his actions? NO, I think the one thing soccer lacks compared to other sports is players sticking up for their teammates. If some one hacks your teammate, you stand up for him.

Posted by: joe | April 2, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I actually got hurt this time when I fell down. I know most people don't like me, but come on, that tackle on anyone else and nobody would question the red card!

I'm gonna rip O'brien's sack off next time we play and we go up for a corner kick... dirty bastard.

Posted by: Carlos Ruiz | April 2, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

i agree, O'Brien's foul was deserving of a red but not so horrible. I also think Donovan should have seen a card and/or fine for the hands around the throat. Sticking up for your teammate is fine, but physical contact beyond a light push is not OK.

Posted by: nico | April 2, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I'm not seeing what made this a red card foul. I see worse tackles in every game. It was an awkward kick, but it seems to me he was going for the ball not Ruiz. Ruiz's knee just go in his way -- actually that made it look worse. because it prevented O'Brien from fully extending. At least that's how it looks to me. The video isn't sharp enough for me to see more.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree, it isn't even a tackle from behind becuase Ruiz had turned his body after being bumped by Burciaga. On the close up of the tackle it looks like O'Brien is the one who kicks the ball away as he slips on it with his left foot.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Definitely not a Galaxy fan here, but the one who definitely deserves a red card is the ref for that game... Xavier was robbed on that PK call... that guy shouldn't ref at any level!

Posted by: Soy United! | April 2, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Galaxy will get favoritism on the pitch as well as off.

O'Brien's foul is probably a red card but no more than that. Donovan should've been redded as well. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Ben | April 2, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

How is O'Brien maybe a red and Donovan a red for sure? A tackle from behind at the knees is an instant red, no matter what intent or situation it's in. Donovan should have been carded too, yellow for sure, red is debatable. If we're talking about bad calls, what about the ref rewarding a penalty to the Rapids? The officiating wasn't great across the board.

Don't let your small-market inferiority complex get in the way of common sense.

Posted by: rhys | April 2, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Red card against O'Brien absolutely and he should have been fine even more. Regarding Xavier absolutely rubbish. No second thought that the ref should have been suspended with the call like that. MLS decision makers are I guess dumber than I though.

Posted by: td | April 2, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

.... Now, the Galaxy will have to employ a strategy once perfected by Steve Sampson - the 4-5-1.

Posted by: abel xavier | April 2, 2008 06:06 PM

--------------------------

I believe you're refering to the infamous 3-6-1 formation.

Posted by: Doug | April 2, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't smoke, but maybe I was high during the end of the LA-Col game becuase several people on here are saying O'Brien was close to the ball. I remember Ruiz started dribbling the ball towards the sideline and was three to four feet away when he was hit? Was I hallucinating?

Posted by: dcu west coast | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't smoke, but maybe I was high during the end of the LA-Col game becuase several people on here are saying O'Brien was close to the ball. I remember Ruiz started dribbling the ball towards the sideline and was three to four feet away when he was hit? Was I hallucinating?

Posted by: dcu west coast | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

In addition to hating the fake injuries and the rolling around on the ground that comes with it, I also hate the way soccer players push each other around in response to a perceived criminal act.

Either slug the guy, or stay out of it. But the girlie way players push each other is just stupid.

Posted by: Joe Doc | April 2, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

following the letter of the law:

xavier should have been red carded for a tackle from behind
o'brien should have been red carded for a tackle from behind
donovan should have been red carded for assaulting another player.

and while not letter-of-the-law, abby should be demoted to 4th official for a month for a horrendous match.

Posted by: dashiel | April 2, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

$250?!?!?!? bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

It was a silly tackle.

Posted by: peridigm | April 2, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Xavier should have received red when he got in the face of the ref for the penalty call. That was ignorant.

Posted by: ref | April 2, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

see, to me that was a reckless tackle but I don't see excessive force. It wasn't even going to be a red card until Donovan rushed in and did his business. If Okulaja was going to send the guy off for the foul he SHOULD have been moving very fast to the spot red card waving so everyone knew it was coming and it could have calmed things down. I think it was probably the AR who told him to send the guy off. It was also retaliation though as noted above.

You see worse tackles than that in every match, so of which don't even get called fouls. It just happened that this time Ruiz got injured on the play.

And I also don't get how Donovan escaped scot-free.

Posted by: Glenn | April 2, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't let your small-market inferiority complex get in the way of common sense.

Posted by: rhys | April 2, 2008 08:04 PM

*********************************

Small market? What are you stupid? Wait you don't need to answer it is a rhetorical question since you are a Galaxy fan. Idiot.


Posted by: LA = city of idiots | April 2, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I dont really like Ruiz and can see why most people thought it was a flop at first...but....WTF was kid doing that for up 4-0 with 4 minutes left. He had the audacity to be smiling on the way out. I will give him the benefit that he thought Ruiz was faking. Truly classless if he was smiling like that knowing the guy was really hurt

Posted by: DigzTFC | April 2, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think O'Brien's intent was to foul at all.

If you watch the video O'Brien was running back to cover and Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. had stood a streaking Ruiz up when O'Brien arrived. At that point O'Brien was already making a play for the ball. It was not a good one and in fact it was quite clumsy.

In know why did he do with intent...in fact he immediatley popped raising his hand to the ref signalling he was aware he made a bad play and acknowleged Ruiz by apologizing and patting him on the back.

Players that do things like are not doing things with intent.

Truth be told Ruiz was not even his guy to cover.

I think you are dealing with a young rookie who was having a decent game and wanted to continue prove to his coach he has earned his starting spot and did not want to get burned in the last minute.

Maybe a vet says hey we are up 4-0 who cares let him go. My guess is that was probably what Pablo was saying in the handbags that happened after.

I'm not even sure the foul merited a red card. So in my opinion the league was harsh on him but okay I see their point in that they are sending a message no fouls from the back will be tolerated.

They can't fine him much more money wise as he is barely making peanuts anyway.

What I don't get is why Donavon was not fined. What Donavon did in going after O'Brien was with intent and he could have started (and almost did) an all out team brawl.

If the league is going to come in after the fact and hand out post fines and suspension they should do it all the way across the board.

Posted by: Tony | April 2, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a red card and a game. It was a bad 'tackle' but the fact that Ruiz got hurt - well, it wasn't that vicious. Definitely some bad luck on Ruiz's part.

You can't penalize O'Brien for the injury, just for what he did. At least that's the theory I'm operating on.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't let your small-market inferiority complex get in the way of common sense.

Posted by: rhys | April 2, 2008 08:04 PM

Oh, OK. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Posted by: Rob | April 2, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Drummond brothers... we have a new low for FSC announcing during CCC.

Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about the red card? The ball was gone and he swong from the side and kicked Ruiz in the knee.

Knees don't bend that way - that's how ligaments (and in this case meniscus) gets torn. He's lucky Ruiz is out for 6 weeks and not the season - completely reckless.

There's a reason players get so upset about fouls like that.

Posted by: Matt | April 2, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Tony sounds about right.
Crappy way for a Rookie to make his debut.
Maybe some day Ruiz,Donovan, O'Brian,&Xavier will all laugh and have a group hug...
Maybe not.

Posted by: Dadryan | April 2, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

The red card and fine were both warranted. It was a stupid foul and shouldn't have occurred in the dying moments of the game, but O'Brien is playing in is first game EVER in the MLS. I'll bet he had some first game jitters and wanted to make an impact, just not quite like this. And besides, how else would you expect GAUCHO to begin their career. Isla Vista supports COB.

Posted by: IcemanIV | April 2, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe there were no goals in the Houston-Saprissa match. The match at Saprissa will definitely be interesting.

Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Watch the video again people, it was at Ruiz's feet when he was fouled. Yes, it was a bad tackle and deserving of a red because it came from behind, but don't make up a new reality that the ball was 4 yards away. It was about 3 yards ahead of Ruiz, who then caught up with it just as O'Brien fouled him.

Posted by: chaz | April 3, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

And yet on the other hand, if the standard for dissent was a fine of, say, $10,000, how often could the league assess such a fine to a minimum salary player?


Posted by: Rob | April 2, 2008 05:44 PM
----------------------
how about making the fines equivalent to a percentage of the player's salary? A one percent fine would sting Donovan just as hard as a minimum salary player.

Posted by: troy | April 3, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

Troy - Sounds right on the surface, but Donovan could still pay for even a massive fine (percentage-wise) out of his disposable income, while a minimum wage guy would be dipping into his non-disposable income with even a small (percentage-wise) fine.

Posted by: JD | April 3, 2008 5:56 AM | Report abuse

@Posted by: Adam | April 2, 2008 05:01 PM

abosulutely. I am no Ruiz fan but that tackle was rash and reckless in a game that was well in hand late.

O'Brien honsetly should have 3 games off. That was every bit as dangerous as the tackle on Eduardo but with better results for Ruiz (if a torn up knee can be called 'better)

The fine part is OK. Most guys are making all that much so $250 is going to feel like $5K to some of them.

Posted by: papa bear | April 3, 2008 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Donovan as an enforcer!?! Rich!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

It is only a red because of LA's rediculous reaction. This type of clumsy tackle happens all the time in MLS and 80% of the time it doesn't get a yellow.

If it were a foul on anyone but the fish it would just be a foul. Free kick Galaxy.

Too bad the Galaxy can't show as much emotion when the ball is in play.

Posted by: Tommie | April 3, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

In addition to hating the fake injuries and the rolling around on the ground that comes with it, I also hate the way soccer players push each other around in response to a perceived criminal act.

Either slug the guy, or stay out of it. But the girlie way players push each other is just stupid.

Posted by: Joe Doc | April 2, 2008 08:38 PM

================================

Agreed, although I rarely see the girls play it that way. They usually bide their time and take their shot in the run of play. Nasty business.

With the "men," how about new rules for these soccer melees:

1) throw a punch, straight red, 1 game.
2) slap, grab throat, scratch eyes, pull hair, red plus 3 games and you must wear pink socks for 1 game upon return.
3) aim a kick at a guy, red plus 10 games, pink socks for 1 game.

Also, if the stretcher comes onto the field for you, your day is done.

Posted by: WNT Fan | April 3, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The tackle wasn't from behind. Ruiz was faced towards the sideline. O'Brien was facing towards the field. O'Brien was going for the ball. Ruiz flicked it away a split second before O'Brien's tackle. O'Briens leg clearly came up high, but the contact itself looking more glancing than straight on.

Are the people saying that he shouldn't be attempting a hard tackle the same people who say you should play every game to win? If your playing the game, play your hardest. No matter what the situation.

Posted by: I must be missing something | April 3, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I lie the proposed rules. I would add "wear a ponytail with a double-scunci" to the pink socks rule.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 3, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the red card was warrented; it was not careless, reckless or with unreasonable force. The ball was in a position to be played by o'brien when he made his tackle, from the SIDE of ruiz. Ruiz made a nice move that laid him out on the tackle. Its hard to see anything but a yellow for a tackle of that effort and play. Although by this time the wheels had fallen off the game and the ref had no control.

A lot of you out there are wondering why o'brien committed that tackle at this stage of the game. Maybe because great players, rookies and veterans, like clean sheets against division foes and the game doesn't end until the whistle blows.

Posted by: DudeAbides | April 3, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

OK--a couple of myths.

1) "intent" doesn't matter, and isn't judged by refs (or shouldn't be). It is actions. You can't read players' minds. In my book this is a clear red on the action.

2) Although "from behind" was a big deal a few years ago, instructions to refs now emphasize punishing any tackle "which endangers the safety of an opponent" regardless of what direction it comes from. This has been modified from an older version which laid greater stress on the tackle from behind. So it doesn't matter, for those posters trying to parse whether this was from behind or not.

BTW, I think Ruiz is a dreadful cheat and flopper in his play. But this was still a very bad foul, and deserves the punishments it has received.

Posted by: macheath | April 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I guess people just like to dump on Donovan, but he did exactly what he should have done.

There's no way marginal little twits like O'Brien should be injuring leading MLS scorers at the meaningless end of a drubbing.

It was clearly an intentional foul. You do something dangerous and someone gets a serious injury - what's that, an accident?

Wade Barrett should have gotten punished for injuring Ralston. Getting the ball first is NOT justification in itself. Dangerous play is a foul and cardable offense, even if the players touches the ball.

Unless MLS wants to be a league with all it's stars on the sideline, they better clamp down on the dangerous play, hard and quick.

Posted by: bkupp | April 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

About Ruiz. I was at a game at RFK when he played for Dallas. The play was downfield. He knew it was going to get to him so he left his feet, launched himself into our fullback. He rolled all over like he had been maimed for life and he got the call. My husband and I watched the game against Houston. It looked to both of us that if Clark had contact on him it was glancing and off his arm. That guy was not hit in the face. He is a diver and has done it all his career here. The Powers to be seem content to let him do it. Why, I don't know. On Colorado, I watched the game to see Christian. You could see the foot of the Colorado man go past and take the ball off his foot. Got a question for you guys to speculate. If San Jose beats LA who do you think will bail first from LA?

Posted by: Bubbles | April 3, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company