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Fleshing out the Rafa Marquez suspension

Apr 19, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT

scales of justice

Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committee has suspended Rafael Marquez for three games. Quick hits on where the story goes from here:

I had guessed two games. He got three, and I don’t have a big problem with the length. If it had gone the other way (just one) the typing fingers of semi-outrage would have been flying. But two or three – more or less the same in my mind. Justice is served here.

I know some people believe Marquez deserved more; I’ll have more later on why I think the punishment is about right.

The disciplinary committee ruled that Marquez “tackled, fell on and kicked his opponent.” Marquez having done essentially the same thing on the previous San Jose corner kick probably removed any doubt in the five-member committee’s mind that this was some sort of clumsy accident.

It probably would have been one game or possibly two, but Marquez’s splotchy disciplinary history matters in this case. And if history wasn’t enough to warrent a third match, that kick at the end with Marquez’s right boot surely sealed the deal

The matches Marquez will miss:

  • Saturday at D.C. United
  • April 28, at home to New England
  • May 5 at Los Angeles Galaxy

Two of those matches (the games on the road) are ESPN contests, so the network partners won’t be happy with that. (And let this be a lesson to all conspiracy theorists; the disciplinary committee is clearly NOT in cahoots with the league’s broadcast partners.)

Given D.C. United’s injuries along the back line (expansion Montreal gave them problems last night), Saturday’s match was there for the taking. It still is, considering Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper’s splendid form – but swiping all the points just got tougher.

Finally, the disciplinary committee’s busy here, in capsule:

  • Colin Clark: three games (plus fine) for using a homophobic slur on the field
  • Adam Moffat: one game for a reckless challenge
  • Alvaro Fernandez: fined for embellishment of contact
  • Brandon McDonald: one game (plus fine) for a reckless challenge
  • Jair Benitez: one game (plus fine) for violent conduct
  • Atiba Harris: one game (plus fine) for violent conduct
  • Danny Cruz: fined for embellishment of contact
  • Shalrie Joseph: one game (plus fine) for  a reckless challenge
  • Marvin Chavez: one game (plus fine) for  a reckless challenge
  • Rafa Marquez: three games for violent conduct 

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