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Major League Soccer Drops the Ball with 4-Game Suspension for Marcos Mondaini

Matt JonesAnalyst IMay 11, 2011

Medical Staff Assist Javier Morales Following an Unneeded Tackle That Ended His Season
Medical Staff Assist Javier Morales Following an Unneeded Tackle That Ended His SeasonGeorge Frey/Getty Images

The new sign leading out of the locker room in every Major League Soccer stadium should read

"CAUTION: PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK. MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTS OR INJURY."

In the wake of the third severe injury suffered by an elite player, Major League Soccer showed that they are not as concerned as they should be with the safety of their players by suspending Chivas USA forward Marcos Mondaini only four games for violent, reckless and completely unnecessary play.

The suspension is actually only for three games with one additional game for the red card. He will also pay a fine of $1,500.

The tackle in question occurred in the first half of a recent match between Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake.

After being beaten in the run of play with a good piece of skill by Javier Morales, Mondaini chose to take out the frustration of the match on Morales' ankle.

As Morales set to shoot the ball from just outside the box, Mondaini slid in and took out his plant leg. He was several yards away from touching any part of the ball.

This incident is the third this season of players being severely hurt and out for the season.

Earlier this year, Seattle Sounder Steve Zakuani went down on another reckless tackle against the Colorado Rapids. He suffered a broken leg, and like Morales is likely out for the season.

FC Dallas star David Ferreira also underwent surgery to repair an injury suffered on a tackle.

Major League Soccer had an opportunity to send a message regarding this type of rough play, but did not do enough to change it.

Many have suggested that the penalty for the offending player should be just as long as the player that was injured, and Mondaini should be out as long as Morales.

To put this into perspective from other leagues, Los Angeles Laker Andrew Bynum drew a five-game suspension and a fine for an unsportsmanlike hit on Mavericks guard J.J. Barea.

The difference there is that Barea got up and is still able to walk.

Morales underwent surgery Monday and will not be able to begin training for at least four months.

If Major League Soccer wants to gain control of their league and clean up play to maintain the integrity of the beautiful game, they must be more proactive in handling their discipline.

Four games is not enough to change anything. The suspension should have at least matched that of David Mullan's if not longer.

They had a good chance to take care of it here, but did very little.

Would the outcome have been the same if it were David Beckham or Thierry Henry?

If you are an MLS player, as far as Major League Soccer is concerned, play at your own risk—you may be next.

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