[MLS SUSPENSIONS] The MLS giveth and MLS taketh away. In a season during which its Disciplinary Committee has just about weekly been handing down ex post facto suspensions, the league did something unique. After the fact, it rescinded a red card shown New England Revolution forward Fernando Cardenas in the 81st minute of the Revs' game at Real Salt Lake. It marked the first successful appeal of a red card under MLS's new appeal process instituted this season.
An independent review panel -- consisting of representatives of the Canadian Soccer Association, the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), and U.S. Soccer -- unanimously determined that Cardenas was incorrectly shown the red card for a foul on fellow Colombian Jamison Olave.
New England appealed referee David Gantar’s decision. After examining the play, the panel determined that Gantar made an "obvious error" and MLS has rescinded the one-game suspension and fine for Cardenas.
“We’re very pleased Fernando Cardenas’ red card has been overturned and he will be available this weekend," said Revs General Manager Michael Burns. "When the red-card appeal process was introduced this offseason, teams knew that there was a high standard for the type of call that would be considered and that there were serious penalties for frivolous challenges. We’ve had what we’ve felt were a number of questionable calls against us this year. However, in this case, Fernando did not even make contact with the opposing player on Saturday and was still sent off for a ‘serious foul on a tackle.’ We disagreed with the call so vehemently that we felt we had no choice but to appeal. As the video confirmed and the review panel recognized, Fernando never made contact with the opposing player and his red card was correctly lifted.”
Meanwhile, the MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended Seattle Sounders defender Leo Gonzalez one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for stepping on the leg of prone Philadelphia Union defender Sheanon Williams late in Saturday's game.