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MLS finds “no evidence” to fine players involved in abandoned match

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Jamison Olave
Last week’s preseason brawl between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City has resulted in some supplemental justice from MLS.

RSL defender Jamison Olave got a US$250 fine for Tweeting about his displeasure for the match official after last Wednesday’s game was abandoned in the second half because of the fisticuffs.

The fighting and fouling didn’t earn anyone a suspension or fine, but the Tweet did.

“MLS investigated the altercation between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City during a preseason game on March 8,” wrote leagues spokesman Will Kuhns in an e-mail to The 11. “The League’s Disciplinary Committee did not find any evidence that disciplinary action was required for actions that occurred during the game.”


While it seems odd that a brawl that was serious enough to cause a ref to abandon a match didn’t warrant fines or suspensions (but a Tweet did), the problem might be more how preseason functions in MLS. The SKC-RSL game didn’t have a video feed, even online for fans. Many preseason games are played behind closed doors. It’s hard for the league to pursue justice when there isn’t a lot of evidence other than reports from non-league sanctioned officials.

Olave wasn’t the only player to receive, ahem, justice from MLS headquarters for actions from the preseason. FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez will miss his team’s season opener due to suspension. Benitez got the one-match ban and a US$500 fine for spitting on Houston Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron in a February preseason tilt.

MLS had originally ruled to give Benitez two games, but the sentence was reduced by league commissioner Don Garber after an appeal from the MLS Players’ Union.

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