Late in D.C. United’s road win over Atlanta United, Yamil Asad threw a needless, dirty elbow that caught Lloyd Sam square in the jaw. And the kicker? He got to stay on the field until being substituted minutes later.
This isn’t the first time that Asad, in his first year in Major League Soccer, has thrown an elbow at the head of an opponent. Hell, it’s not even the first elbow he’s thrown at an opponent IN APRIL:
This elbow was thrown at Toronto FC defender Eriq Zavaleta’s head in the midst of their 2-2 draw on April 8. The referee in that game, David Gantar, gave a red after some consultation with his assistants. On Sunday, Jair Marrufo gave Asad a yellow for “Unsporting Behavior.”
In case you wanted Zavaleta’s reaction to Sunday’s foul:
So, we have a player throwing elbows at the heads of opposing players, after the ball is away from play, in two separate incidents. MLS lists the Disciplinary Committee Principles and Parameters on its website and says (italics mine):
Where the referee sees an incident and either does not act, or rules only a foul or only a yellow card (i.e., anything other than a red card), the Committee will not in general issue a suspension, unless:
· The play in question is, in the unanimous opinion of the Committee from all available video evidence, a clear and unequivocal red card; AND
· The play in question is of an egregious or reckless nature, such that the Committee must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game.
Atlanta United is surely aware of Asad’s play at this point, whether or not Atlanta coach Gerardo Martino admits seeing the incident (he says he didn’t this time, but it was right in front of the Atlanta bench). They’ll need to correct this on-field behavior in quick fashion.
And if they’re serious about preserving “...the integrity and reputation of the game (and) assist in ensuring player safety...”, Major League Soccer should give him some time off in the spirit of their mission statement.