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Longer suspension potentially ahead for United’s Andy Najar

Nov 3, 2012, 11:33 PM EST

New York Red Bulls v DC United - Eastern Conference Semifinals Getty Images

Andy Najar definitely won’t need to worry about his team’s second-leg of the Eastern Conference playoff series.

He will be suspended Wednesday, serving the automatic one-game ban for picking up a red card in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium. The ejection was for his stunningly mad moment, where he flung the ball petulantly at referee Jair Marrufo. Tsk-tsk!

But neither may Najar need worry about the rest of the MLS playoffs.

Oh, perhaps if United makes it all the way to MLS Cup, he’ll be available for the Black and Red again. (Although getting that far looks less likely since it is clearly “advantage Red Bulls,” as we’ve already talked about.)

(MORE: Drilling down on Saturday’s 1-1 draw)

But there may well be a longer suspension coming; there is precedent here.

None other than David Beckham himself got a one-game suspension for kicking the ball toward a referee earlier this year against San Jose. And that’s Beckham!

As a marketing tour du force, Najar is no Beckham. He won’t be afforded the same lenient protection that Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committed afforded Beckham this year.

Galaxy teammate Mike Magee was suspended one game in May for throwing the ball at referee Silviu Petrescu. (FYI, he missed; Najar pretty much nailed Marrufo.)

But the big one had been earlier in May, when Dallas’ Brek Shea got three matches for kicking a ball at a referee’s assistant.

  1. sluggo271 - Nov 4, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    I think the next time a player kicks the ball 30 feet over the goal, the referees should be able to throw the ball at the player. What a stupid, stupid player.

    • Steve Davis - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      Well, he is 19. I know I wasn’t the smartest fellow in the world at 19. … NOT defending his actions, which undoubtedly hurt his team. Just saying that I prefer to see it as a kid who did stupid, stupid thing. He’s a bright, young talent. Hopefully he learns from this.

  2. wyrm1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    As a marketing tour du force, Najar is no Beckham. He won’t be afforded the same lenient protection that Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committed afforded Beckham this year.

    That, in a nutshell, is a huge part of what is wrong with MLS, decisions being made based on star power or location (mostly NY and LA). I agree Najar deserves at least a couple games, but so did Beckham, and the fact that he didn’t get it says a lot about how far MLS has to go.

  3. sluggo271 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Did you notice how immidiately after the ball is thrown and hits the referee about FIVE DC players SWARM the referee who can only back up? I would like to see these players fined in EVERY game. This seems to happen in every MLS match over, really, pretty small fouls. Really makes for an ugly, ugly viewing experience.
    It’s a foul! Move on!!!!

  4. footballer4ever - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Young and dumb, that’s not a justifiable reason when you know what the consequences will be if you do anything idiotic thing to a referee or to another player. If you want to duke it out with someone off the field to get it out of your system, then do so, but when you are on the field there’s 11 other players, 10 players + fans who are counting noone goes postal. Maybe Najar is best suited to work for the USPS than for a football club.

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