Let’s say three things quickly about Nelson Rivas’ brutal head butt into Antoine Hoppenot’s face Saturday in Montreal:
Rivas, the Impact defender, is facing 2-4 games (my best guess) after losing his mind during his team’s 2-0 win. Anything less can’t even be considered, using some of the past suspensions as precedent.
Jack McInerney was red carded, too, for pushing Rivas (pictured) after the fact. That’s awfully harsh, and what the young Union man did was nothing more than we see in so many MLS matches, a shove into the upper body area. Considering what Rivas had just done, McInerney’s reaction was understandable. A caution was more in line with the sequence of events.
Even Impact coach Jesse Marsch wasn’t defending his player, saying afterward: “In general, Nelson is an intimidating defender. So as a starting point, I don’t think he needs to respond like that to show how physically intimidating he is. All competitive players have moments when they, for a moment, lose it or feel like they’re not going to back down.”
Watch the incident here. (You may as well, because we’ll hear more about this one, for sure.):