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Wicks Suspended 5 Games

D.C. United goalkeeper Josh Wicks, who was ejected from the U.S. Open Cup final last month for misconduct, has been suspended an additional four tournament games (five total) by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

MLS teams traditionally play a maximum of four games in the annual event, meaning, if the format does not change and United returns to the 2010 championship game, Wicks would miss the entire tournament plus one match in 2011. Early elimination next year would result in a longer ban the following year. (For example, two games in 2010 would mean three in '11).

The sanctions have no bearing on Wicks's eligibility in MLS or the Open Cup preliminary round, which is organized by the league, not the USSF.

Wicks received an automatic one-game penalty for the red card, which was issued midway through the second half after he stepped on Seattle goal scorer Fredy Montero. Wicks exchanged words with referee Alex Prus and berated fourth official Andrew Chapin, who apparently witnessed the incident and reported it to Prus.

The six-member USSF panel ruled that Wicks "intentionally stomped on a player in the field of play, refused to leave the field of play in a timely fashion and used highly inflammatory language to insult the fourth official."

Wicks has until the end of business Tuesday to appeal.

Last year, the USSF suspended Chicago's Cuauhtemoc Blanco six games or two years, whichever came first, for incidents during an Open Cup match against United at Maryland SoccerPlex. Blanco was red-carded, failed to leave the field in a timely matter and attempted to head-butt a game operations official. The Fire played only one match in this year's tournament before being eliminated, meaning Blanco would have to sit out all of the club's Open Cup games next year.

Do you agree with the length of Wicks's suspension?

By Steve Goff  |  October 5, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup , USSF  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround

Comments

Well deserved. I also can't see Wicks suiting up for DCU next year, but then again, with the rosters we're putting together lately, who knows!

Posted by: nairbsod | October 5, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I would have made it four, meaning a season ban from the competition. Nothing wrong there. I hope we upgrade at keeper (and about 6 other positions) next season anyway. Though I'd hope that Kocic would play in the Cup regardless.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

So, if you're like me, you're wondering, "Is yankiboy ticked off about this or not?" I can't keep it straight. He got fewer games than Blanco, so he should be okay with it, right? I can't tell anymore.

Posted by: very_clever_username | October 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

DC United has much bigger problems than Josh Wicks being suspended for 5 games from the US Open Cup. The question isn't whether we agree with the length of Wicks' suspension. The question is who will be our new coach next year? Starting goalkeeper? And our starting attacking midfielder? Left back? Striker? The list goes on. We need a lot of improvement in the personnel department if we expect to be competitive next year---and not just when it comes to the players. Team management has been totally inept just about all accross the board. RFK amenities still a mess. No stadium plan in sight. Coach thinks it's normal to sub a key player at or before halftime of most matches. No consistent lineup or team chemistry built, even by season's end. Team built around aging players who lack both heart and skill. Ticket prices go up while quality of play goes down.

Josh Wicks is the least of DC United's problems right now.

Posted by: mrchuckles | October 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ditto on the above. I doubt Wicks will be back next year with DCU anyway.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 5, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Bigger question still--will DCU still be in DC or locally in 2010 or 2011? I guess they are doing so badly lately that no one is clamoring for them so perhaps will still have our red and black who will be black and blue next year and beyond with all the changes coming. Poor VW--really bad timing on that deal!

Posted by: lovinliberty | October 5, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree with the suspension. I have been an United fan since its inception and have never seen a more shameful action by anyone wearing the jersey. It was not a rough challenge during play but rather happened after play had ended and he walked over to a player on the ground and STOMPED on him! To intentionally and so blatantly try to harm another player has no place in the sport. Frankly, I was hoping that the team would act like a class organization and suspend him themselves. He has no business on the squad and I hope the team releases him. Clearly he has some talent and may be able to mature and get a handle of his emotions. But he should not be allowed to do so with our team.

Posted by: nyjer1 | October 5, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Since I'm still not convinced of either the intent or the actual stomping, it seems a wee harsh. However, he would not have played in any of the early matches, and if DC makes the final again, I would say they did OK without him. So, I say "meh".

Posted by: fischy | October 5, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It seems there is a poll -- for favorite D.C. team. United is running away with it, in the early voting.

http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2009/10/favorite-dc-pro-team.html?hpid=talkbox1

Posted by: fischy | October 5, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

""Josh Wicks is the least of DC United's problems right now.""

Ain't that the truth. We haven't put in 90 minutes of quality league play since we beat the Rapids 3-1 in July.

Since then we've put together halves of quality against SJ (away and home), 30 minutes against the Dynamo where we scored 3 goals (after going down 4) and a few middling minutes against Chicago (away 1-0 win) and the Gals (0-0 tie)

Otherwise, we've really been terrible (should have lost to KC at home), and played poorly in a loss to TFC, loss to Chivas, loss to San Jose and SEattle. In most of those losses we haven't been threatening at all.

If, by some miracle, we make the playoffs, I'd be shocked.

Posted by: delantero | October 5, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

lovinliberty you have no grasp of reality currently... ;)

with the merging of D.C. Washington Sports and Entertainment Commission & the Washington Convention Center Authority United will have a stadium in no time.. which has been said in his news clip:
http://wamu.org/audio/nw/09/10/n18091001-29124.asx

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | October 5, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Make the playoffs???

Right now, DC United is right where I picked them before the season started -- in 5th place in the East, behind the Crew, Fire, Revs, and Toronto. The question is really how far down will this death spiral take them? If KC can steal a point each at Chivas and home against Seattle, our match in KC will probably be for 5th place. If Toronto wins one of their last 2 games (home vs. RSL and @ NYRB) and RSL also wins one (perhaps home against the Rapids). There's even a chance that Dallas might tie or pass us, as they are hot and have a home against Colorado.

DCU might end up 3rd from the bottom -- which would give us the 4th draft pick (ought to be a decent player) and might set us up for an allocation next year (after the World Cup, there might be a small migration home).

Posted by: fischy | October 5, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

That was confusing -- sentences would up out of sequence. Should read thusly:

There's even a chance that Dallas might tie or pass us, as they are hot and have a home against Colorado.

If Toronto wins one of their last 2 games (home vs. RSL and @ NYRB) and RSL also wins one (perhaps home against the Rapids), DCU might end up 3rd from the bottom -- which would give us the 4th draft pick (ought to be a decent player) and might set us up for an allocation next year (after the World Cup, there might be a small migration home).

Posted by: fischy | October 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting conversation with Garber on ESPN's site. He notes the phenomenon of Americans pending huge sums of money to buy football teams abroad -- and paying lavish salaries to keep them at the top. He approves of the MLS salary structure because it keeps the owners from doing the same thing here.

I'm not sure how apt that is -- there aren't that many Beckham's out there who would get an offer big enough to entice them to come here and who would be willing to come to this football backwater.

Posted by: fischy | October 5, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Seems fair to me given Blanco's ban. Initial offense was worse than Blanco's, but Wicks left the pitch on time and without headbutting anyone.

Posted by: greifie | October 5, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

""with the merging of D.C. Washington Sports and Entertainment Commission & the Washington Convention Center Authority United will have a stadium in no time..
Posted by: bonghits4gomez "

Wow, I don't know who Bill Hall is, or if his job as spokesman for the combined division means squat, but I like him! And if he gets us a home, I'll forgive his transgression regarding "the United."

"One thing we want to do is find a permanent home for the DC United in a facility which is consistent with other soccer facilities around the country"

We might suck, but at least there's some good news.

Posted by: delantero | October 5, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Well I may be the only one that thinks the "stomp" may not have really happened, or been intentional, so i think this is really harsh. But more than that it is a gutless move by USSF. They basically suspended him for two years of USOC play. Why didnt they just come out and give Wicks the same condition as Blanco, 5 games or two years? I hope Wicks appeals this.

Posted by: jjfooty | October 5, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

It may not have classified as a stomp, but only if you choose to classify it as a jump.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 5, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but doubting whether Wicks stomped on Montero's side is plain delusional fandom - or arguing for the sake of argument. He is renowned for his temper, he lost it, had no reason to come near Montero, then jumped over him and landed on his side. That is blatent and gross misconduct. Case closed (and that's just what the federation have done)

Posted by: Kev29 | October 5, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

fischy and jjfooty, a few days after the incident the Seattle Times' beat reporter said Montero showed him the bruises from Wicks' cleats (link below): "Saw Fredy Montero's upper thigh where Josh Wicks stepped on him. Nahs-ty." He later added that Fredy's hand and forearm we bruised as well. If you want to argue our reporter lied or Montero painted cleat marks onto his thigh---well, more power to you.

As to Wicks' intent, his history speaks for itself, and anyway at some point you punish the action irrespective of motive.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soundersfcblog/2009833112_sounders_fc_practice_9-9-09.html

Posted by: j_doe | October 6, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Wicks' suspension. But I also want to see those players who fake an injury receiving a non-existant punch to the face or other such phantom blow be likewise suspended. I am not saying Montero was guilty of this deception. I think he was, but there are some cases that are such blatant attempts to deceive the referee and damage the game that the offending players should be dealt with as harshly as a player who does hit someone.

Posted by: rcdwriting | October 6, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse


"I have been an United fan since its inception and have never seen a more shameful action by anyone wearing the jersey."

You must be blacking out the year we had Stoitchkov. That's OK, I try to do the same.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | October 6, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

@rcdwriting:

FIFA has this covered:

Laws Of the Game, p. 115:

"Cautions (yellow cards) for unsporting behaviour:

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, e.g. if a player:
....
• attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)"

I agree with you, though, in some especially bad cases it ought to be an ejectable offense, or worse.

I think it was one of the knockout games of WC 98 or 02, a Portuguese attacker crumpled to a heap with no one even near him. It was the same tournament when Ronaldinho was struck in the leg with a ball while play was stopped, and went down as though he'd been shot in the head at point blank range.

Displays like that in front of a global audience should receive the harshest possible penalty, such as a ban from the rest of the tournament.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 6, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Completely agree with the suspension. DCU should have put him on the bench permanently for the rest of the season, then released him. He shows none of the CLASS that is prevalent in other DCU players!!!

Posted by: patrick18 | October 6, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@j_doe:

That horribly-written "article" was linked to this blog previously. The author mentioned the marks looked "as fresh as if they had been painted on with a red sharpie," as I recall. The problem is there was no way of telling of the writer was genuinely shocked or just playing along and being cheeky.

I agree with your basic point: Wicks was guilty and it's pointless to argue otherwise or protest the decision--what's done is done. But I'll take the word of a six-member USSF panel before that of one blindingly incompetent journalist.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 6, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"I have been an United fan since its inception and have never seen a more shameful action by anyone wearing the jersey."

You must be blacking out the year we had Stoitchkov. That's OK, I try to do the same.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | October 6, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

-----

Not to mention Gomez spitting on CJ Brown during the Chicago playoffs massacre many years ago. But CJ Brown is basically as dirty a player as Jay Heaps.

Posted by: M__N | October 6, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@patrick18:

Not only would no professional organization respond that way, but I hardly see what the point would be. DCU absolutely did the right thing in giving Wicks a chance to show his class, both on and off the field, in the wake of that incident--which he did and has done.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 6, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: OWNTF | October 6, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

i think the bulk of the suspension may actually be for his conduct after the ejection. wicks got into the CR's face almost to the point where I thought he would strike him (he may have bumped him). he then went after the AR and then then 4O, taking several minutes to leave the field. That kind of stuff is just not acceptable. So my guess is it was 2 games for the foul and 3 for the conduct after the fact. regardless, I don't want the guy in a DCU shirt next year.

Posted by: VTUnited | October 6, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Now that I know that Wicks was verbally abusive to 4th Official, Andrew Chapin I say ban him for USOC games for 5 years...

Posted by: yankiboy | October 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

While Wicks was getting into the face of the 4thO, the camera panned towards Soehn. He had his hands in his pocket and had somewhat of a "I dont care" type look on his face.

When Wicks stepped forward and looked like he was going to take a swing at the 4thO, only then did Soehn step forward and try to calm Wicks down.

Posted by: dogboy | October 6, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

DCU should be banned from the Open Cup for a year for the *We Lose Trophies* campaign. Period...
;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals,

What are you talking about? Nothing in that blog post is "cheeky" or in any way implies beat reporter Jose Romero isn't objectively reporting a visual observation. And nowhere does he mention anything about a Sharpie.

Romero also discussed or referenced the bruises in the following weeks. A few days after the post I linked to above, Romero wrote, in response to a couple of yahoos on his comment board: "yes, the scrapes were real and were the ones from Wicks, though Wicks might have gotten some hand as well during the play. I don't think Fredy would fabricate anything like that especially with the visible proof."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soundersfcblog/2009834272_practice_video_sounders_fc_9-9.html

Then there's Romero's lede in a 9/11/09 Sounders-DCU preview piece:

"Josh Wicks dug his cleats into Fredy Montero on Sept. 2 after Montero scored a goal in the U.S. Open Cup final in Washington, D.C., and Montero has the scar on his right hip and arm to prove it." (From Sigi Schmid in the same article: "If you look at the bruises on Montero, he got bruised pretty good.")

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sounders/2009849968_sounders12.html

Look, I recently moved to Seattle and am painfully aware that the Seattle Times is no Washington Post, but Jose is a hard-working professional journalist and far from "blindingly incompetent." If you're going to rip him, at least have the decency to read the piece you're ripping first.

Posted by: j_doe | October 6, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Five games? That's it? One for a card, and two to three for official abuse? That leaves a game or two for the stomp itself?

USSF didn't buy it.

J-doe:
Montero's injuries from the stomp keep moving. So far, I've heard the hip, arm, hand, and leg cited. Don't forget he clutched his abdomen immediately afterward, as well. I don't understand how the CR needed to rely on the 4O to make that call if the stomp connected in so many places. You'd think it would have been more obvious to him, and to the Sounders players that were in the immediate vicinity and looking at Montero.

Posted by: mason08 | October 6, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Now that I know that Wicks was verbally abusive to 4th Official, Andrew Chapin I say ban him for USOC games for 5 years...

===

He was up in the guy's grill like a Freightliner taking out a bug on the interstate. Did you think he was asking about the 4O's cologne?

Posted by: mason08 | October 6, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth -- there is no way that Wicks clipped Montero's leg in that incident, much less badly bruised it. Any lower body bruises that Montero had came earlier. He spent a lot of time on the ground during the game. I can't comment on the arm.

Posted by: fischy | October 6, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Fischy

From my seat in the stands it was clear, Wicks jumped over and stamped down on Montero. It was deliberate, it was angry, but it was no accident or near miss. Much as I usually enjoy your comments, you are quite wrong in your assessment of this.

Posted by: oz4dcu | October 6, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

DCU fans... who cares? move on. it's over. what happened, happened. Montero doesn't care, wicks doesn't care, and seattle fans (majority of) don't care. you got way bigger problems than wicks being banned from usoc play for a bit. demand a new coach! and a new stadium! get out there and rally people. you are DCU!!! and you better stay in DC too!

Posted by: SoundersMob | October 6, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

OZ-
If you could see it, why couldn't the CR and Sounders players? None of them acted like anything was wrong for at least ten seconds. Look at the tape! Montero's teammates are trying to pick him up to celebrate, not going after the dude that just stampped their front man.

SoundersMob-
Don't you have some Sounders jerseys to puke on... I mean, dye.

Posted by: mason08 | October 7, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Mason-

seriously? it's a non issue now... the stomp wasn't the fans fault, you guys didn't do it, so who cares?! you need to neither defend nor blast your keeper. it was what it was...

that being said, let me ask just one question... have you EVER heard wicks deny doing it? if someone didn't do something they're being accused of don't you think they would deny it at some point.

as for your direct comment to me... again, seriously? that's what you come up with? but no, no jersey to dye. there is a nice piece of silverware to check on though... thanks for that.

ok, enjoy the playoffs...

Posted by: SoundersMob | October 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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