So I waited now over an hour and a half for MLS to issue their press release on the suspension of Alvaro Saborio, they haven't yet but trust me it is going to happen and will be for 1 match and probably include a fine as well. Once they publish it, I will update with the press release, but until then here are my thoughts:
I thought for once that MLS would do the right thing, be consistent, judge facts and not opinions, but of course I believe that is asking way too much from MLS. So they are going to suspend Avlaro Saborio for his embellishment of a foul that resulted in a PK kick for RSL and the sending off of San Jose's Bobby Burling.
I am going to say right now that I disagree with the punishment for a number of facts, but to those who don't or won't pay attention to facts it won't matter. They will point to MLS saying they would punish such behavior more severely after the Charlie Davies dive (well the one against RSL that they actually punished). I am not going to go into why I believe that the fouls were different, you can go back and read my post match blog post and the comments that came with it.
Here is the real reason why I think this is a bad deal, they are punishing him because of the fact that the officials made a bad call.
more after the jump:
There have been others who have dove in the area, but when the official gets it right and doesn't issue a PK or eject and opposing player there is no action. So in reality Saborio is being punished because the officials failed to do their job and that is why I think the punishment is wrong, I would be fine with him getting the same punishment as Charlie Davies, but to punish a player more because of the mistakes of the officials is just sad and pathetic.
So I will watch all the action this weekend very close and I would expect that any player who goes down on light contact will receive at least the same punishment. Location on the pitch shouldn't matter, offense or defense shouldn't matter, if the punishment is for the action of a player then it should be enforced every time it happens. That means if Landon goes down in the middle of the pitch looking for a free kick, he should be suspended. If Carlos Ruiz, the king of dives, goes down he should be suspended.
There are also clear issues about suspending a player for what is a yellow card offense, so once again MLS is just showing that they are operating on their own agenda and the rules are what they say the rules are.
If they aren't then the message MLS will have sent is clear, if the officials make a mistake that the public is outraged over, then we will punish the players. Wrong message sent again. To make it even worse there is no suspension of Jon Busch for flipping off the official (he now claims he was flipping off Saborio) or his attempt to start a fight with RSL head coach Jason Kreis, nope just a fine is headed his way.
I also think it is sad that US Soccer and MLS continue to not inform fans about what if any discipline is being handed out to the officials who are the root cause of the controversy. In fact you can check out the US Soccer Referee Week in Review for the past week that has again no mention of anything about the call that has been talked about all week.
MLS Disciplinary Committee Suspends and Fines Real Salt Lake Forward Alvaro Saborío; fines San Jose Earthquakes Goalkeeper Jon Busch
NEW YORK (July 29, 2011) - The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee today suspended Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío one game and fined him $1,000 for putting the game in disrepute in the 61st minute of his team's game against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 23.(click here to see the play)
The Disciplinary Committee determined that Saborío fell in a deliberate attempt to deceive the officials and gain an unfair advantage. The subsequent foul and penalty kick goal had a direct impact on the match and will impact San Jose's next match because San Jose defender Bobby Burling was issued a red card on the play.
Players were warned by League officials against this type of behavior prior to the start of the season and again following the discipline levied against Charlie Davies on June 24, 2011.
"As previously stated, all instances of obvious simulation and/or embellishment that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including fine, suspension or both," MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodríguez said. "We will continue to impose sanctions, and even increase their level, if necessary, in an attempt to eliminate this type of behavior."
The MLS Players Union appealed on Saborío's behalf, but the Committee's decision was upheld by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Saborío will serve his suspension during Saturday's game against the Columbus Crew.
The Disciplinary Committee also fined San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch $500 for making an obscene gesture during the game against Real Salt Lake on July 23.
Fines collected are donated to MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS W.O.R.K.S. seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport.
It is clear that MLS has no regards for the actual laws of the game but feel they can write their own rules. Yet the league and US Soccer still refuse to acknowledge any discipline, fines, or suspensions of the officials involved in bad match decisions.
I clearly stick by the statement that any player who dives anywhere on the pitch this weekend should be fined and suspended as they clearly meet the criteria of "all instances of obvious simulation and/or embellishment that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including fine, suspension or both" I would say that every act of simulation
OFF MY SOAPBOX