Kljestan's Defense...sort of...

Having made a bit of a deal out of this yesterday, I feel somewhat obliged to wrap up the tale of Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan's two-game suspension and modest fine. Kljestan made himself available and offered, not so much a defense for, as an explanation of the incident:

"I was just tired in my brain, like just not thinking at the time. It's just a play where you think, `Oh I want to slow down the play, I want to prevent a counterattack' and you just don't think for a second and you just try to make the tackle or a foul or just poke the ball out of bounds."

"I jumped from the wrong angle and I got his foot underneath me, so it ended up looking pretty dirty when I meant no maliciousness or any intent to hurt anybody."


Anyway, I'm still dubious on the size of the punishment, as well as the irksome impression that this play wouldn't have been reviewed at all except for the injury. That's probably what's making this so hard to digest. The thing is, if the league wants to crack down on a behavior, the existence of an injury shouldn't be necessary. Put more directly, an injury shouldn't be the trigger for review; the tackle should be the trigger and the injury an aggravating factor. There's just this sloppy, central-planning mind-set in setting this ruling that makes me feel like the process operates on a cart-before-the-horse basis.


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