Double Jeopardy: How did Mario de Luna escape his full suspension?

Smooth operator: Is suspended two games, only sits out one. - USA TODAY Sports

Did anybody else notice the strange sight of de Luna playing yesterday?

There's a part of me that doesn't want to stir the pot, but here goes. I was absolutely flummoxed as to why Chivas USA defender Mario de Luna started yesterday's match against the Colorado Rapids. Wasn't he supposed to be suspended for the game?

I went back to the stories surrounding de Luna's suspensions. You may recall that he pushed a ball kid in Chivas' loss to the Portland Timbers earlier this month. Because of that play, the referee gave him a yellow card, giving him five on the season. A player's first five yellow cards in a season results in an automatic one-game suspension.

Then he received an additional one-game suspension for the ball kid incident, as mandated by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. I went back and looked at the reports surrounding the suspensions, including the article I wrote, and the article on Both articles noted that de Luna was effectively serving concurrent suspensions.

But he only actually sat out one game, last week against Real Salt Lake, and was back in the lineup against Colorado.

Was there an appeal? Did MLS make a mistake and forget about the second suspension? I saw no report reducing his punishment. Instead of suspending him once for two games, was this some bizarro scenario in which he was suspended twice for one game?

I reached out to both the MLS Players Union, who released a statement in support of de Luna following the incident, and to Chivas USA about this question. I haven't heard any word from them, possibly because of the holiday weekend, so if I receive word, I'll let you know about any updates.

Still, this is one of those scenarios that don't often come around, where a player is said to be suspended for two games and quietly returns after one without any public notice of a reduction or appeal. Stay tuned...

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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