Andy Najar definitely won’t need to worry about his team’s second-leg of the Eastern Conference playoff series.
He will be suspended Wednesday, serving the automatic one-game ban for picking up a red card in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium. The ejection was for his stunningly mad moment, where he flung the ball petulantly at referee Jair Marrufo. Tsk-tsk!
But neither may Najar need worry about the rest of the MLS playoffs.
Oh, perhaps if United makes it all the way to MLS Cup, he’ll be available for the Black and Red again. (Although getting that far looks less likely since it is clearly “advantage Red Bulls,” as we’ve already talked about.)
But there may well be a longer suspension coming; there is precedent here.
None other than David Beckham himself got a one-game suspension for kicking the ball toward a referee earlier this year against San Jose. And that’s Beckham!
As a marketing tour du force, Najar is no Beckham. He won’t be afforded the same lenient protection that Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committed afforded Beckham this year.
Galaxy teammate Mike Magee was suspended one game in May for throwing the ball at referee Silviu Petrescu. (FYI, he missed; Najar pretty much nailed Marrufo.)
But the big one had been earlier in May, when Dallas’ Brek Shea got three matches for kicking a ball at a referee’s assistant.