Those of us who defended the actions of Ben Olsen last week against the Montreal Impact got a bit of validation today, as MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the D.C. United head man would have the automatic suspension and fine rescinded following the double ejection he and Montreal Impact coach Marco Schallibaum suffered in the second half of their game Saturday night. At the same time, Schallibaum will see his sideline ban extended to two games, and he will be fined an additional $5,000 for "repeated misbehavior" - this was Schallibaum's
third fourth expulsion since taking the reins at Stade Saputo. As a result of the decision, Ben Olsen will be on the touchline tomorrow for United's bottom-of-the-table clash with Toronto FC, presumably displacing assistant Chad Ashton, who took charge for the remainder of last week's game upon Olsen's ejection.
The incident started when James Riley challenged the Impact's Justin Mapp for a header on the near touchline right at midfield. Riley came in much harder than Mapp and, even though he won the ball, sent the Montreal midfielder reeling into the sideboards, which are notoriously close to the field in that stadium. Schallibaum took exception and stormed out of his technical area toward the two players and United's technical area. Olsen used some choice language on a hot mic to tell his counterpart to stay back, and referee Ismail Elfath ultimately sent off both coaches. Today's decision from the league indicates that Elfath got it wrong, and - as commentators Dave Johnson and John Harkes, among others, said at the time, only the Impact manager should have been given his walking papers.
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