[MLS PLAYOFFS: Houston-Montreal]In the wake of the Montreal Impact's meltdown at the end of its play-in game at Houston on Thursday, MLS handed out additional suspensions to two Impact players, fined the Impact and its coach, Marco Schallibaum (reported to be on his way out in favor of Alessandro Nesta) and suspended Houston coach Dominic Kinnear from the opening game of the Dynamo's conference semifinal series against New York.
Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero will have their 2014 suspensions extended to three games -- one for the red card, two added on -- for violent conduct that endangered the safety of their respective opponents in the last-minute fracas of the Impact's 3-0 loss at Houston. They were the second and third Impact players to get ejected following the dismissal of Nelson Rivas, who was playing his first game of the season.
Di Vaio (who only recently agreed to a contract extension) was fined an extra $1,000, and Romero (currently on loan from Tombense Futebol Clube in Brazil) fined $250.
Both Montreal and Houston violated MLS's mass confrontation policy As a multiple offender, the Impact was slapped with a $25,000 fine and Schallibaum was fined $2,500. Houston was fined $5,000, while Kinnear won't be allowed on the sidelines or in the locker room Sunday for leaving the technical area to try to calm down his left back Corey Ashe.
SI.com reported Friday night that, according to a source, Nesta, the former Italian national team star, would replace the Swiss Schallibaum. Nesta did not play in the Houston game because of an injury and had indicated earlier he'd retire after the season. Schallibaum was brought in to replace Jesse Marsch but after a fast start the Impact collapsed in the fall. It was 1-7-1 in its last nine games.
The Impact has plans for a press conference on Tuesday.