MLS New England Revolution

Sweeney: MLS fines, suspends Arena a further two games… and the timing sounds so familiar

Major League Soccer has fined Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena $15,000 and has suspended him an additional two games following his red card after the knockout round match against Philadelphia four weeks ago.

Arena’s suspension will take him through this weekend’s game against the New York Red Bulls. Assistant coach Richie Williams took the helm against the Union last Thursday, and will be in the technical area for Tuesday night’s match at DC United (7 p.m., NBC Sports Boston) as well as the weekend match with the Harrison, NJ outfit.

The American top flight cited Arena’s use of “confrontational conduct and unacceptable and offensive language toward match officials” early in the morning on July 26, in the minutes after the Revs were bounced from the MLS IS BACK Tournament.


Honestly, MLS? This is kinda crappy. I honestly don’t care what Arena said to the officiating crew that night — and from our point of view, rightly said to them, regardless if the Revs would have put the should-have-been-awarded corner kick on frame or not — but to suspend Arena a further two games a whole month after the infraction occurred is pretty despicable, if you ask me.

Secondly, this is the second time in Arena’s tenure that Major League Soccer has suspended a Revolution player/staff member longer than necessary. If you will recall, last year MLS handed down a further game to Matt Turner’s suspension after he plowed through Wayne Rooney on the Gillette carpet on May 25. When we saw the red card handed to him that night, we figured one game max; after all, that’s what a red card is. That game would be the road trip to Carson to play the Galaxy the following weekend.

Nope. When we returned from the US Open Cup break, after the Revs beat the Red Bulls and were then bounced by Orlando City — Turner in net for both — we learned that there was a second game tacked on without anyone knowing. No press release on the MLS website about Turner getting the second game. It was just added on under the radar, while our attention was diverted on the Open Cup competition.

Which is absolutely pathetic of the league to do.

Same thing here. The fact that this offense happened four weeks prior — and when you think of the Turner second-game suspension, the Revs played Philadelphia at home on June 26, four weeks later than the original infraction — means that MLS really needs to get on the stick with its timing. You mean to tell me that MLS can’t hand down one single-yet-extended penalty in one go? No? It has to stretch things out? B.S.

Regardless of what Arena said on that night — and you will recall that during his first media availability a couple of weeks ago, he didn’t divulge what he had said — regardless if he deserves the suspension, the fact that the league has waited until now to levy further punishment is absolutely asinine.