The Washington Spirit have successfully appealed Sam Staab’s early red card from last weekend’s 3-2 loss to NJ/NY Gotham FC. The NWSL Independent Review Panel agreed with the Spirit’s appeal, and Staab’s red card has been rescinded. As a result, she will be available to face Racing Louisville this weekend.
Staab was sent off early in the game after bringing Gotham attacker Midge Purce down as the pair ran into the Spirit penalty area, but only after a convoluted series of events.
First, referee Karen Collado gave a red card to Paige Nielsen rather than Staab, despite Nielsen having made no contact with anyone on the play. After protests from both teams — the Spirit apparently appealing that the foul did not merit a red card, while Gotham pushed for a penalty kick rather than the free kick Collado gave them — Collado had a change of heart, taking back Nielsen’s red card and instead giving it to Staab, apparently for a Denial of an Obvious Goal-Scoring Oppportunity (DOGSO) foul.
The Independent Review Panel did not issue a statement at this time, but the Spirit’s release about the appeal noted that the panel “determined that Staab had not denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.”