D.C. United playmaker Dwayne De Rosario will miss two matches, including Saturday’s opener at Houston and his own team’s home opener a week later, suspended by MLS for two games after head butting Danny Cruz on Feb. 23.
We all knew this was coming – or was quite likely at very least. As we talked about yesterday on the blog, the irony is that De Rosario, the 2011 league MVP, would have been making his first start since last August. And then he goes and does this.
Even United manager Ben Olsen could not object with a straight face – and good for United’s young coach for neither defending nor dismissing De Rosario’s lack of composure. What Olsen told the Washington Post.
I would love to defend Dwayne or my players, but this one, I can’t necessarily do that. I just hope this is the last one we have to deal with because it affects us negatively and we have to clean it up.”
It is unclear when United was alerted, most likely on Thursday. This is important, as clubs do become rightly upset when the league moves slowly on suspension alerts.
(UPDATE at 9:32 a.m. … MLS spokesman Will Kuhns alerted me via email that United was informed on Tuesday evening; teams may not make the news public until later, depending on the appeal process.)
Saturday’s match, the best of opening day in MLS, in Houston is a 8 p.m ET on NBC Sports Network.
There is one more thing that needs to be said here:
De Rosario has been guilty of losing his cool on the field before – but he has reliably gotten away with it, pushing or lashing out at players during those silly mini-melees that we tend to see. (Those are the very same mini-melees MLS is now endeavoring to tamp down.) But MLS didn’t get serious until last year at creating consequences for the little shenanigans that can turn up the temperature on an otherwise manageable moment.
Not saying De Rosario is blameless for what he did to Philadelphia’s Cruz. He is certainly responsible. On the other hand, Major League Soccer’s previous foot-dragging on discipline enforcement shares some blame here, too.