Once again this season, the MLS Disciplinary Committee has retroactively punished a player who committed a no-no against Chivas USA. Earlier this season, it was Steven Lenhart for raking his foot across Mario de Luna's face, and Paulo Nagamura for stepping on Edgar Mejia's hand on purpose. This time, it's Montreal Impact midfielder Sanna Nyassi, who drew the penalty late Sunday against the Goats that led to the 1-1 draw between the teams.
The call looked pretty iffy, what with it being on the edge of the penalty area. Replays showed that de Luna, who was attempting a sliding tackle on Nyassi, really didn't get any contact with his opponent either, who started going over before de Luna really came in. The Disciplinary Committee agreed, calling Nyassi's dive an "act of simulation" and suspended him one game. That means he'll be out today's match against New York.
As with the other retroactive suspensions, it is good to see the league rectify bad calls and hold players accountable for behavior that goes over the line. But in this case, unlike Lenhart's and Nagamura's, Nyassi's dive likely proved decisive to the outcome of the game, and had the PK not been called, Chivas may have very well ended up with three points in that game. That's the frustration of retroactive punishments, that they don't actually benefit the team that was directly affected.
The mess from the Montreal game was compounded by the much bigger mess that took place yesterday in Chivas' game against Philadelphia. Among other matters, Josue Soto may get an additional suspension for making contact with the referee, and I can pretty much guarantee Chivas will be punished under the "mass confrontation" rule. But the call that led to those actions, referee Jorge Gonzalez's judgment of an intentional back pass from Mejia to Dan Kennedy, has been widely condemned, by fans (including Union fans) and writers alike since the match. Like the Montreal game, that call seemed to be decisive to giving Chivas a loss instead of a draw, and unlike the situation with Nyassi, the mess from PPL Park won't be easily rectified, unfortunately.
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