Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ricardo Clark's season is over

MLS's Commissioner Don Garber gave Houston's Ricardo Clark the rest of the season off for his kick to FC Dallas's Carlos Ruiz this past Sunday. Clark will also get some time off at the start of next season, as his total suspension is 9 games. The Dynamo have three remaining matches and, at most, four playoff games, which means Clark will not take the pitch again till the third game of 2008 at the earliest. In addition to the nine games, Clark was fined $10,000 plus he cannot take place in any exhibition games for his MLS team where admission is charged. However, he can take part in international matches such as the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Garber said of this decision, "In taking this action, Major League Soccer is sending a signal that it will not accept reckless and dangerous behavior on its fields. If there is a repeat of this kind of behavior by any MLS player, even firmer sanctions can be expected in the future."

Clark will appeal the decision through the player's union.

Interestingly enough, Carlos Ruiz, who looked like he might have knee Clark in the back right before he got Clark's boot, will only serve the two game suspension he was already going to serve (one for the red card he got on the play and one for yellow card accumulation).

The lack of Clark in the lineup is going to be a big blow for the Dynamo as he has done a large share of their heavy lifting through out the season. His skill at developing plays is not an easy one to replace, especially with Houston still getting over their injury issues.

As far as the fine itself, I can't say that it is insane as Clark really went wild with the kick. The one thing that does seem a bit much is the $10,000 fine as that is a little over 5% of his total gross salary for the year. It would be different if Clark had a history of this sort of thing, but the way it stands now, it does seem a little heavy handed.

So, if Houston and FCD end up facing off in the first round of the playoffs (a very likely event), do you think this event will be in many of the players’ heads? Also, could this have an impact on Clark's call-ups to the US MNT?

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2 Comments:

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7:42 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I find this:
- - -
Garber said of this decision, "In taking this action, Major League Soccer is sending a signal that it will not accept reckless and dangerous behavior on its fields. If there is a repeat of this kind of behavior by any MLS player, even firmer sanctions can be expected in the future."
- - -

To be a complete load of crap. At the end of the '05 season, a Los Angeles player stepped on San Jose's Alejandro Moreno. The weasel didn't even get a yellow card, much less a suspension. Moreno of course missed the next couple of matches. Until such time as the league starts enforcing these penalties in an even handed manner, Garber's statement is just one more in a series of bad lies.

- Mark

1:12 PM  

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