Following what is becoming an established pattern, MLS has announced that New England Revolution midfielder and captain Shalrie Joseph will be suspended for D.C. United's visit to Foxboro this coming Saturday.
The link includes video of Joseph's offense, which was a reckless tackle from the side on Ricardo Villar of FC Dallas.
Regular readers will recall that I was quite upset last week after the same Disciplinary Committee appeared to single Brandon McDonald out - curiously, also for a tackle against a Dallas player - when there were worse tackles around the league that went unpunished.
In this instance, I'd say that the suspension is more reasonable than the one handed out to McDonald. This will probably result in my being called a "homer," but my reasoning is simply that the tackle from Joseph is more dangerous. It's actually quite similar to the tackle from Jonathan Leathers that broke David Ferreira's ankle (man, what is it with Dallas?).
For United's purposes, this is a big piece of news. Simply put, Joseph is the most crucial Revolution player. His vision and range of passing let him control the tempo of play while picking out runs from deep spots, and he remains one of MLS's best ball-winners on the defensive side. Joseph is also New England's best target on set pieces, their penalty kick taker, and their emotional leader. On the heels of conceding a 95th minute goal to lose to Dallas, playing without him is probably the last thing the Revs wanted.
Look for highly-rated rookie Kelyn Rowe to deputize centrally, which means Jay Heaps will have to find someone to man Rowe's spot on the wing.