In happy news for Chivas USA heading into another week of matches, defender Joaquin Velazquez's red card and subsequent suspension has been rescinded by an independent panel with binding power on the matter. You will recall Velazquez received the red card Sunday in a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy, and the decision by referee Ricardo Salazar was widely panned, with even Galaxy partisans admitting the so-called offense was not red card-worthy. In fact, most of the discussion coming out of the particular challenge between Velazquez and Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark focused on the fact that Clark should have been whistled for a foul on the play, not the other way around.
The decision means Velazquez will be available for Chivas USA's game Sunday against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park, assuming the club opts to use reserves in Wednesday's friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara in Ciudad Juarez (that's what I'm hoping for, anyway), and although Velazquez has looked the shakiest of the starting defenders so far, the results indicate that Chivas looks to be getting more successful from game to game. Perhaps Velazquez was shaking off the rust and getting used to a new league in the earlygoing of the 2013 season. At any rate, expect him back in the lineup straightaway.
One interesting note from the decision to rescind Velazquez's red card: according to this MLSsoccer.com article, the club asked for the review of the play and subsequent ejection. I speculated that they might not, but the facts of the case appeared to be so cut and dry that this was probably a pretty easy decision in the minds of the panel. Based on my memory, the league tends to overturn only a few red cards a season at most, so the club did well to appeal, since it was one of those decisions that was relatively simple in a very subjective sport.
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