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MLS suspends Joseph for one game

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / April 11, 2012
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Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed sum Tuesday by Major League Soccer for a dangerous play in last Thursday’s loss to FC Dallas.

The league’s disciplinary committee ruled that the challenge by Joseph that downed Dallas midfielder Ricardo Villar in the second half of New England’s 1-0 loss was reckless and endangered the safety of his opponent.

As a result, the Revolution will have to face D.C. United this Saturday without one of their anchors. It will be just their second home game this season, and they also played the first one without a key piece.

Midfielder Stephen McCarthy served a one-game ban for the Revolution’s home opener last month after being hit with a red card in a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City March 17, and he subsequently was suspended for the following week’s game against the Portland Timbers.

The play that earned Joseph his punishment occurred in the 62d minute as he took a pass from Chris Tierney, turned after his first touch, and got into a battle for the ball with Villar. With the ball getting away from them, Joseph lunged, taking out Villar.

Villar was taken off the field on a stretcher and never returned.

The difference between a yellow and a red card is carelessness vs. recklessness. While Joseph was issued a yellow card at the time, the committee had five days to review the play and saw it differently.

MLS has taken a hard line on rough play this season. A week ago, FC Dallas’s Jair Benitez, D.C. United’s Brandon McDonald, and Vancouver’s Atiba Harris were suspended retroactively for violent conduct, and D.C. United’s Danny Cruz was punished for an act of embellishment.

Last season, Joseph was yellow-carded seven times and red-carded once.

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.

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