June 9, 2016
By Brian Trusdell
Soccer News Net Contributor
No holiday for the suits
MLS may have suspended its schedule for the Copa America. That doesn't mean everything with the league stops.
The disciplinary committee issued one suspension, added a game to another, rescinded one and threw in a fine for good measure.
Vancouver forward Octavio Rivero was suspended one game for essentially kicking, albeit unintentionally, Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric in the Dynamo and Whitecaps' 1-1 draw on May 28. Referee Drew Fischer didn't even whistle a foul on the play in the 49th minute, but the DisCo ruled that Rivero was guilty of “serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent” when he pursued a through ball that Deric reached first and the Vancouver striker caught with his trailing foot.
The committee also sanctioned the Whitecaps' Kendall Waston, adding an additional game's suspension for the red card he received literally as time expired in their 4-2 loss to Portland on May 22. Waston sat out the Houston match, but the DisCo thought the two-foot sliding tackle on Dairon Asprilla near the sideline as referee Ted Unkel blew the final whistle was “violent conduct that endangered the safety of an opponent” and worth another week in the stands.
Both – who will sit the June 18 match against New England – also were fined an undisclosed amount, as was New York midfielder Dax McCarty for his scuffle with Toronto's Jonathan Osorio in the 74th minute of the Red Bulls' 3-0 win on May 28 in violation of MLS' hands to the head or face policy.
Finally, the panel rescinded the one-game suspension for Columbus' Conor Casey, who was ejected in the 77th minute of the Crew's 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on June 1. Casey was tossed minutes after entering the game for a seamingly harmless collision with Union defender Keegan Rosenberry.
Long time coming
Chris Pontius' offseason trade from D.C. United to Philadelphia for the notorious “allocation money” has been credited as a large reason why the Union have gone from the bottom half of the Eastern Conference the past two years to the top this season. Now he's getting some personal validation.
Pontius' goal and assist in the Union's 3-2 win over Columbus on June 1 gave him a share of the team lead with five goals and earned him Player of the Week honors for the abbreviated Week 14.
It was the fourth time Pontius has been selected POTW but the first since the seventh week of the 2012 season.
First time for everything
The New York Red Bulls' revival from near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings to second place can in large part be traced to Bradley Wright-Phillips rediscovered scoring touch.
He scored six goals in May to give him eight for the season, climb within two of the league lead, help move New York from eighth place to behind only Philadelphia.
Two weeks ago his two goals and one assist exploits in a 7-0 rout of cross-Hudson rival NYC got him selected for him his sixth career Player of the Week award, and his May heroics earned him his first Player of the Month honor.
Others also receiving votes from MLSsoccer.com's staff were Colorado keeper Zac MacMath (who is set to lose his job when Tim Howard gets done at the Copa America), Wright-Phillips' teammate Sacha Kljestan (who still isn't getting consideration from Juergen Klinsmann), Montreal midfielder Ignacio Piatti and NYC forward David Villa.
Not exactly Freddy Adu
When Freddy Adu joined MLS and D.C. United in 2003, he signed with much fanfare before a packed press conference in New York City. Of course he was only 14.
Atlanta United FC City Thursday delved into that realm Thursday with the signing of 15-year-old Andrew Carleton.
Carleton will turn 16 on June 22 and won't have a chance to appear in an MLS game until AUFCCT makes its debut next season. Until then, he'll be in camp with the U.S. under-17s preparing for CONCACAF qualifying heading into next year's World Cup – and then likely would be lost should the United States extend its distinction as the only nation to qualify for every U-17 world championship.
A native of nearby Powder Springs, Carleton is the fourth player acquisition by Atlanta. A member of the team's inaugural academy class announced last week, he becomes the team's first “homegrown” player and will officially join the roster “upon completion of the necessary Homegrown Player training requirements,” the team said in a release.