Suspensions: Herron...Kljestan?!

Major League Soccer (MLS) disciplined Columbus Crew forward Andy Herron this morning to the tune of a four-game suspension and a $3,000 fine. Seeing as I already wrote about this in another space, I'll send persons interested in reading about it to that space (short version: Herron got off light, but I'm still OK with it).

Seeing as a suspension of some sort was a given with Herron, that's done and dusted. But something in the same press release has me thinking a bit:

"The disciplinary committee also suspended Chivas USA defender Sacha Kljestan two games and fined him $1,000 for a serious foul play."


"In the Kljestan incident, although the referee saw the incident and exercised his on-field judgment not to award a red card, a serious injury to Williams resulted. In this circumstance, the committee reviewed the play and concluded that the challenge was an unequivocal red card offense and egregious. Therefore, the committee decided to suspend Kljestan two MLS Regular Season games and fine him $1,000."

Those interested in a second look can find video to all of these incidents. My video feed is boned, so I'm currently unable to review the Kljestan "incident," but this still strikes me as harsh. I'm OK with the fine - I'd even be comfortable if they doubled it so long as they withdrew the suspension, or keep the fine and suspend him for one game, as if it had been a red card - but that's a pretty stiff punishment for a bad foul in the run of play. And it was a bad foul, no question. I like Andy Williams plenty and respect him more (especially how huge a mensch he is for even playing given everything) and this is definitely tragic. But I don't think the simple existence of the injury has a role in setting the punishment.

UPDATE I entirely accept the possibility that my take on the Kjlestan incident doesn't make sense - and if I find out Sacha didn't visit Andy in the hospital (barring accidents of travel, etc.) I'll rescind the statement entirely. In any case, a couple other people weighed in on this, so I thought I'd link to them: Ives Galarcep and Steve Goff, though with the latter, I'm pointing more toward the comments.

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