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MLS announces plan to punish players injured — or "injured" — for All Star Game

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer has announced a new rule for the All Star Game that's sure to not sit well with players or fans. From 2016 forward.

That rule? If a player has been called in for the All Star Game, and they're unable to play, they'll be prohibited from playing in their next MLS match. They'll still be eligible for bonuses on their contract, but their next match is a no-go.

Now, that's notable for a number of reasons. The first? There's doesn't seem to be any room for actual short-term injuries. That's essentially handing a suspension to a player for any midweek training injury.

It's also easy to see why Don Garber would be inclined to push such a rule — there's a long-standing tradition of big-name players mysteriously taking to injury ahead of the All Star Game, and there's always a possibility that could be pushed by some coaches.

Whatever the case, punishing players for something they have no decision in is frankly ridiculous. If players aren't interested in playing in the All Star Game and will feign injury for that sole purpose, maybe there's a problem with the event itself, and maybe that's what MLS should be looking at. Don't count on that.