One of the events I overlooked in the match report in Sunday's 3-0 loss by Chivas USA to the Portland Timbers was Mario de Luna's yellow card late in the game. Overall, I was mostly frustrated by the game, but I also wanted to think the incident over before writing about it. If you missed the video of the incident, here it is:
As you may expect, de Luna has been widely condemned around MLS for his actions. I've seen many Chivas USA fans, as well as some neutrals, find sympathy with de Luna because the ballboy was reluctant to give him the ball. It seems to be a fairly polarizing issue.
As far as what the video shows, the throw-in was ruled for the Timbers. Whether de Luna knew that or not is unclear. But a suspension is certainly coming, whether you agree with it or not.
Here's my take on it: de Luna should get a suspension in the matter. Regardless of whether he was in the wrong about it being a Chivas throw-in or the kid was in the wrong for refusing to release the ball, the image of a grown man shoving a kid and yanking a ball out of his arms is always a bad look. It's common sense, you just can't get physical with kids, pretty much regardless of the context.
I was pretty annoyed at Timbers color commentator Robbie Earle's frequent and thinly-veiled references to the "fiery nature" of Chivas USA this season during yesterday's broadcast. Whether I'm being too sensitive or whether Earle is dealing in stereotypes on a conscious or unconscious level, can probably not be determined. But even Chelís made a gesture to the ballboy following de Luna's shove, immediately walking over to make sure the kid was ok. Chelís makes a real effort to defend his players, and even he couldn't reject the sight of an adult pushing a minor.
Colin Clark got a three-game suspension for yelling a homophobic slur at a ballboy last season. The conduct is not the same in the two cases, but I think a suspension is definitely coming for de Luna.
However, I'd like to hear what you think. Do you agree with my viewpoint? Disagree? Let's hear it in the comments below. I would really like to hear what you all have to say on the incident.