D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola has found himself in hot water.
The Argentine striker has been handed a six-game ban by Major League Soccer after he was issued a red card for violent conduct after the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal versus the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 8 for pushing assistant referee George Gansner.
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In a statement from the league on Thursday, they stated that Espindola has also been fined an undisclosed amount. Below is the statement in full:
D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola has been suspended for a total of six games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of the player’s post-match actions following D.C. United’s Conference Semifinal match against the New York Red Bulls on November 8.
Espíndola was issued a red card for violent conduct which carries an automatic two-game suspension. The forward has been handed an additional four-game suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for contact with the Assistant Referee. He will now miss the first six games of the 2015 MLS regular season.
The ban will not count for D.C. United’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, a two-game series with Costa Rica’s Alajuelense, before the 2015 MLS season begins but Espindola will now miss the first six games of next season which account for 18 percent of the season. Since his ban was made official, Espindola has apologized and issued the following statement.
“I am very sorry for my actions at the end of the playoff game against New York. My emotions got the best of me. I want to apologize to assistant referee George Gansner, to my teammates and to the organization. I look forward to being back on the field with my teammates soon.”
In his first season at RFK Espindola scored 11 goals, tied for the most on the team, and recorded a team-high nine assists as the 29-year-old was influential in leading the Black and Red to the Eastern Conference title in the regular season. However D.C. must now prepare for life without Espindola for a large chunk of next season. Not ideal, but what did he expect after pushing an official?
Below is a video of the initial incident which fired Espindola up, as he contested a throw-in call with Gansler before taking up the matter after the full time whistle.