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Freddy Adu sent off; MLS players not getting the message

May 13, 2012, 1:36 PM EDT

Adu-Philly

Major League Soccer players just aren’t getting the message. They aren’t paying attention.

We keep seeing the same thing:  a bad foul or other offense happens, a card is handed out and a player raises both arms, stunned, incredulous.

And yet, they see what is happening around the league, right? They see the referees managing (or trying, at least) to handle things differently. They see the league enforcing the laws more stringently through retroactive reviews, right?

Take the Freddy Adu situation. It’s at halftime right now in Philadelphia, where the Union is tied 1-1 with New York, but Freddy Adu has already been sent off for two yellow cards – both as silly and unnecessary as the other.

His first was for a very bad tackle, from behind, late and with some menace. And completely unneeded, as the Red Bulls man was moving toward his own goal, not presenting any danger. It was an “attacker’s tackle.”

Just before the half, Adu dragged his foot inside the penalty area, looking for a call as he shot between two defenders, picking up no contact along the way.

Referee Jorge Gonzalez, making a very gutsy call, got it absolutely right. It was a clear dive, one very deserving of a yellow card.

Adu was bright with ideas and nice passes, by the way, playing very well.

Here was Adu’s initial booking:

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