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Melee ensues: What happened to provoke three red cards against Phoenix?

USA TODAY Sports

Kwame Watson-Siriboe was sent off for Real Salt Lake and two players were sent off for Phoenix FC in a scuffle at the close of the first half in last night's 0-0 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Chris Wingert was at the fulcrum of the scuffle after he pushed a player off of him.

"A guy was holding me, so then I'm going to push him off," Wingert told reporters after the match. "The ref kind of saw him holding me, and he's grabbing me, grabbing me, so I push him off and he went down like he got punched in the face, which clearly didn't happen. Then I'm telling him to get up, he's making a meal of it, and then kind of melee ensues. I don't know exactly what everybody got red cards for, just because I was kind of in it myself, but that was kind of how it started."

Andrew Weber, Phoenix FC goalkeeper, went rather immediately to Twitter after his sending off to vent some frustrations, starting by decrying the "bad call" in his sending off. It wasn't exactly clear what Weber, who trialled with Real Salt Lake during preseason, was sent off for.

Weber told a Real Salt Lake fan on Twitter that "your boy was choking out out team mate and all I did was grab his hand and remove it from it from our team mates throat. So.."

Sebastian Velasquez had taken the free kick before the scuffle, so he wasn't particularly close to the action.

"When I got to the free kick, the guys just got in a big crowd and there was all this yelling and I didn't know what happened," Velasquez said. "I saw that Kwame got a red card, and at one point, I'd seen that they were holding each other's necks. Obviously they're going to get a card for having that kind of behavior."

RSL reserves coach Jeff Cassar said he didn't get a good look at the action but that he thought the referee handled it well.