Suspensions for Impact playoff meltdown have a familiar ring to them By Steven Sandor Posted on November 2, 2013 5 0 681 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Marco Schallibaum The Montreal Impact’s flameout in Houston will have lasting repercussions. The Impact lost its MLS Eastern Conference play-in game by a 3-0 count Thursday, but also endured the embarrassment of finishing the game with just eight men. Nelson Rivas saw two yellows, while both Andres Romero and star Designated Player Marco Di Vaio were sent off for an 89th-minute incident, instigated by Romero kicking at the Dynamo’s Corey Ashe, who was down on the field. The league’s disciplinary committee has decided that both Romero and Di Vaio will serve another two games each on top of the automatic one-game bans. So, each player will be banned for the first three games of the 2014 regular season. The Impact have been fined $25,000 and Impact coach Marco Schallibaum is out another $2,500. Di Vaio got dinged $1,000, while Romero got a $250 fine. Houston coach Dominic Kinnear was banned for one game because he came onto the field of play. He will serve that in the Dynamo’s playoff match this weekend against New York. Another thing to consider. Friday marked the final day for MLS award voting. Now, we know that the playoffs aren’t supposed to influence the vote. But, for those voters who held off till the last day, were any of them swayed to vote for someone other than Di Vaio on the MVP ballot, based on his scoreless, petulant performance in Montreal’s most important match of the year? With Mike Magee and Camilo also at the top of the scoring charts, but neither of their teams making the playoffs, Di Vaio had the edge of being on a post-season-bound team. But, it blew up in his face last night. And, we’re all humans. Will the last-second voters be able to put it out of their minds? This isn’t the first time the Impact have been censured for the team’s behaviour in a playoff ouster. After a 2010 USSF-Div. 2 playoff loss to Carolina, in which an Impact goal was disallowed — and Montreal also claimed one of Carolina’s goals was offside — the team charged the match officials. Current Impact Sporting Director Nick De Santis was banned six games, and players Richard Pelletier (six games), Hicham Aaboubou (four games) and Adam Braz (three games) all received heavy suspensions, which were served at the beginning of the 2011 NASL season. This Impact team bears no resemblance to the Impact team of 2010-11, but the spirit of petulance remains.