An independent panel was split 2-1, but nonetheless upheld the straight red card issued to Chivas USA midfielder Agustín Pelletieri for “fighting” (later changed to serious foul play for reasons never explained) in the 13th minute of Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps in Carson.
It appears the panel upheld the referee’s ruling after Pelletieri’s cleat lingered on the lower leg of Vancouver midfielder Pedro Morales after the tackle, which you can see in the above video.
The ruling seemed harsh to most observers, including Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera, who declined to discuss the incident or the referee during his post-game press conference.
MLS did not say which panelist dissented against the decision. The panel consisted of representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Professional Referees Organization.
The ruling means Pelletieri’s automatic one-game suspension will stand and he will miss Chivas USA’s next game this Saturday in Dallas.
Meanwhile, MLS and its locked-out regular referees have apparently resolved their differences over a labor contract in time for the weekend’s third round of games.
Just in time, many fans and, presumably, Cabrera would say.