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On Accountability: Joaquin Velasquez' red card rescinded

The LA Galaxy benefited by Joaquin Velasquez being sent off in the SuperClasico on Sunday. His red card has ben rescinded, bringing accountability to what happens on the pitch in MLS.


Joaquin Velasquez' red card against the LA Galaxy has been successfully appealed, with the suspension and fine rescinded. It's a measure of accountability in what is typically a murky world; that off soccer referee decisions.

It was a confusing moment at The Home Depot Center as Colin Clark lied on the pitch and Joaquin Velasquez walking away straight to the bench, and on to the Chivas USA locker room. Salazar pulled out a yellow card and then a red, and the speculation began.

The initial thought was that Salazar had given the foul a yellow, and then a red card ejection for something Velasquez said. There was thought that Salazar had wrongly thought that Velasquez was already carrying a yellow, and thus showed the red card.

Then came word that in fact it was a straight red card, and that Salazar had only accidentally pulled out the yellow card. Seeking clarification, he was asked to explain the red card after the match.

His answer was that he judged it to be a serious foul play, and thus he gave Velasquez a straight red card. An independent review panel looked at the play and disagreed.

What was strange about the Salazar incident is he never looked up at the yellow card. He held it up high, then began reaching for another card and didn't bring down the yellow card until after he raised the red. It doesn't look like he was surprised to see he was holding a yellow card.

While the disciplinary committee sometimes can come off as revisionist history, there are times when such a revision holds the league accountable.

Should Sean Franklin receive a suspension for his kick to the chest, it would be completely justified. Contrast that to the FA which says it can take no action against Wigan's Callum McManaman for a knee high challenge on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara over the weekend.

The system isn't always perfect, but MLS is better off with a bit more accountability even when referees make a mistake on the job.