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Suspension for Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso lifted

Jul 17, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids Getty Images

The Seattle Sounders won’t miss important midfielder Osvaldo Alonso this week after all. Major League Soccer has rescinded the red card issued last week to Alonso – about as critical a cog in the Sounders’ machine as their can possibly be.

An independent review panel decided his actions last week against San Jose were insufficiently violent to warrant a red card and the subsequent suspension.

Ordinarily, league-level back-tracking a red card would be a fairly rare but fairly mostly unremarkable event. But this one comes just weeks after Sounders striker Obafemi Martins had the same thing happen.

The lifting of the suspension to Martins looks like a pretty good choice. As for Alonso (pictured, in the center), it’s just not quite as clear, which makes this one worth talking about.

Here’s the dealio: the squeaky wheel principal does happen in Major League Soccer. That is, men in high places who have big influence over what’s what, will have their words heard, and they can certainly exert a degree of high-level influence.

Did it happen in this case? I absolutely, positively cannot say. I have zero idea.

But you know what they say: One might be a complete fluke. Two is starting to look like a trend. But three … that definitely looks like a problem.

Just saying, this is worth keeping a watch over.

Seattle meets Colorado at home this week.

  1. socamr - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Hmm, maybe the trend is referees choosing to pick on the Sounders.

    Seriously, this is the WORST type of yellow journalism. Without a shred of anything even remotely approaching evidence, it launches extremely dangerous accusations at the entire league.

    Is it possible that the writers on this site are paid by Sporting KC to say nice things about them? I absolutely positively cannot say. I have zero idea.

    • Steve Davis - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Look, I get your point. So maybe I should have said this as well …

      “I have covered the league since the very first kick in 1996. People know me and trust me, so they sometimes tell me things. I KNOW the squeaky wheel principal has applied at times in MLS because those who most certainly would know have told me so.”

      I would also say that owners/ presidents/ GMs who push or bully and sometimes get their way IS NOT exactly tantamount to payola … but that’s just me.

      Maybe that helps you … maybe not.

      • socamr - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        I think we can all agree that there’s a suspicion (justified or not) that the MLS office favors certain clubs, and that more transparency all around the league would be a good thing.

        But I think picking on these two red cards is cherry-picking – both were absolutely brutal calls, as was the Chivas call in the DC United game last week as was pointed out here. Nothing can be done about calls like that – you can’t replay the game from the time of the missed call. One could argue that since you can’t correct for all the bad calls, they just need to be accepted as part of the game and thus that no red card should ever be rescinded. It’s a logically consistent position, but I think I prefer the current approach of at least trying to minimize the damage of clearly wrong calls.

  2. ndnut - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    History with the ‘Quakes is part of what got the red card for Ozzie. But, even as a Sounders fan, I believe he should miss one match.

  3. mrstev - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Safe to say that if it were Steven Lenhart (or any Quake for that matter) with same infraction, there would have been no rescinding of the red card.

    • perrinbar - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Safe to say that is more of comment on Steven Lenhart than anything else.

      • mrstev - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        Wow, you are incredibly clever. Clearly you miss the point. See Salinas post below.

        The league panels and committees show amazing inconsistency and bias.
        I’ll further point out the Eddie Johnson indecent a while back when his intentional knee to some guy’s head went unpunished.

    • perrinbar - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      I don’t miss the point. You picked Lenhart, a man who is well known for toeing and crossing the line with regularity. If you wanted to make a better point, perhaps stick with Salinas, although I’d still say his was a different scenario. I don’t think Sounders fans are justified in all their whinging about being targeted by Salazar and that sort of thing, so I don’t particularly want to hear about anti-Quakes conspiracy theories either. Especially any that mention Lenhart who is a menace and an a$$hole.

  4. perrinbar - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    As a Sounders fan, I’m certainly biased, but it seems incredibly difficult to justify the red card to me from all the video I’ve seen. He was tussling with Gargan and his arms ended up high as they finally broke away from one another. It didn’t look like an attempted elbow to me and if it wasn’t, it’s not a red card.

    • mrstev - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      I tend to agree with you. However, it’s the identical scenario (two guys tussling in an honest effort) that got Shea Salinas retroactively suspended by the disciplinary committee a few weeks back. In that case, Salinas’ arm came high on Keen and the replay clearly showed that no contact was made with Keen’s head.

      • mlsconvert88888 - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        So the question there is was that a result of League bias against the Quakes, or league bias For the Galaxy?
        Heh, or the perfect storm of a combination of both!

      • perrinbar - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Yeah. That’s not the same man. Just watched the Salinas one and he is clearing out with his elbow. Now, did he intend to try and hit Keane, likely not, but he’s still throwing his elbow back with force at an opponent. This was two guys in a tugging match and as Gargan released Ozzie, or he broke free, his arms ended up in the air. That’s not remotely similar.

  5. talgrath - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    It looked to me when I watched it live that Alonso wasn’t carded for the action, but for talking to the referee in a derogatory manner; certainly I don’t see a card being justified for the action before, both players had their hands all over each other in a tussle, if anything the defender should have been called for starting the contact. Once again, the refs were absolutely wretched in that match, does MLS have one decent referee?

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