Here's something that slipped away from me earlier this week, what with the midweek MLS games and all of the hubbub with Chivas USA. Sporting Kansas City midfielder (and former Goat) Paulo Nagamura was suspended one game, already served Wednesday in SKC's loss to the Seattle Sounders, and fined an undisclosed amount for "violent conduct," when he stepped on Chivas USA midfielder Edgar Mejia's hand Sunday in Sporting's 4-0 win. Ironically, after receiving no call for the dirty play, Nagamura drew the penalty that ultimately turned the game for the horrible for Chivas, when Dan Kennedy clipped him in the box, earning a red card of his own.
The suspension marks two in the span of two weeks for players committing uncalled and egregious fouls on Chivas USA players, along with Steven Lenhart's two-game ban for raking his foot across Mario de Luna's face twice in San Jose's 2-2 draw against Chivas.
Although it can be argued that referees should make the decisions during the game, since leaving players guilty of red card-worthy offenses on the field is a substantial disadvantage to the opponents, and the teams that benefit from post-game suspensions are not even involved in the incidents, at least addressing events at some point is better to me than doing nothing at all. And if players can potentially be punished for sneaky violations that may go unnoticed during a game, it theoretically gives them motivation to behave lest they get caught.
If you would like some explanation as to why Nagamura got one game and Lenhart two in their respective suspensions, MLS has released a video breaking down those two plays, and explaining a third involving non-Chivas participants:
What do you think? Leave a comment below!