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Kaka red card: Orlando City won't appeal VR decision
by Paul Kennedy, August 14th, 2017 10:01PM
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TAGS:  kaka, mls, orlando city

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Orlando City won't be the test case to determine if a red card issued following Video Review can be overturned. It decided not to appeal Orlando City captain Kaka's bizarre ejection following what it described as a "playful interaction" with former teammate Aurelien Collin at the end of the Lions' 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls.

MLS Video Review decisions:
WEEK 1:
Maxi Urruti (FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia, 1-3). Goal disallowed.
Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy vs. Seattle, 1-3). Goal disallowed.
WEEK 2:
Maxi Urruti (FC Dallas vs. Colorado, 0-0). Goal disallowed.
Andres Imperiale (San Jose vs. Houston, 0-3). Red card changed to yellow card.
Kaka (Orlando City vs. NY Red Bulls, 1-3). Red card issued.

Incident. Video review was called after a confrontation in stoppage time between Orlando's Cristian Higuita and New York's Sean Davis. Both players were issued yellow cards.

The surprise came when referee Jorge Gonzalez issued a red card to Kaka. Replays showed the Orlando star come up behind New York's Aurelien Collin and laughingly put his hands around the face of the Frenchman, Kaka's former teammate in Orlando. After the game, Collin tweeted, "We see that he is joking we are brothers."

NY Red Bulls-Orlando City highlights:


Statement. Orlando City said it will respect the decision and suspension to preserve its right to two unsuccessful appeals per season, including playoffs. (It already won one appeal in 2017 -- a red card to Rafael Ramos against Chicago in a match the Lions also lost Antonio Nocerino to a red card yet earned a 0-0 tie.)

But Orlando City added in a statement that it "does not support the notion that Kaka -- a role model known around the world for his upstanding character and demeanor -- is guilty of violent conduct, defined as an attempt to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball. Moreover, we also do not believe he deliberately 'struck' an opponent or any other person on the head or face with his hand or arm during the match.)

Two straight reds in 17 years. The red card was the second straight red card of Kaka's 17-year-old career. The first came against Real Salt Lake in 2015.


7 comments
  1. Kent James
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.
    The almost 4 min highlight clip does not show what Kaka did, though if you watch it on youtube, the next video does (and the highlights are pretty good, in and of themselves). I think this was an understandable mistake; Kaka grabs Collin by the face (from behind), and you can tell Collin is pissed off about it, turns around to confront whoever did it, then realizes it was Kaka (who is laughing the whole time) and Collin starts to laugh too. Not sure what Orlando City did not appeal, since it seems like Collin supports their interpretation.
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 9:06 a.m.
    It's a red card offense. Intent has nothing to do with it. It's unlikely that TLOTG interpretation of touching the face of another player is really okay if it's done between best buds who used to play together on the same team. Kaka may have meant nothing malicious by his actions, but he should have known it is a cardable offense. The "I was just joking" line is too often used as a defense for all kinds of egregious actions throughout sports and real life. Joking around on the field can have serious consequences. Kaka, and many other players and fans, have learned a valuable lesson (they SHOULD have known it before): don't horse around on the field during a serious game...your actions may be misconstrued and you may actually be breaking rules of play.
  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 9:07 a.m.
    This should be required viewing for all of the video review proponents. You can never completely remove the human element from officiating. In this case the VAR officials seem to have forgotten that unwritten 18 LOTG - Common Sense. If you just looked at a still clip of the moment the Send Off was justified. If you watched another 15 seconds . . . not so much.
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.
    If you allow such a "friendly" gesture between two "friends" on the field, then what will happen next? Sydney Leroux making love to Dom Dwyer on the field if they ever meet in a friendly match?
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 7:42 p.m.
    Creepy. Thanks for taking this conversation straight into the weeds.
  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.
    Wow, Gus. I'm amazed. But you just make my point. If referees MUST take a strictly literal view of the LOTG then the guy who tries to intervene in a pushing match is guilty of physical contact also. A handshake is holding. A pat on the back is pushing. A coach who steps onto the field to try to control his players must be sent off. And don't forget all of those player rants that referees currently ignore. Careful what you wish for!
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 7:49 p.m.
    The card is just the half of it. Orlando should have appealed, but didn't. Why? Because MLS knows they'd be in uncharted territory if Orlando appeals the suspension and/or duration. If I read between the lines, Garber promises to give Kaka only 1 game suspension if Orlando doesn't challenge. Otherwise, you risk the wrath of Garber, a longer suspension, video review might collapse.

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