Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Is Bieler Starting to Get a Rep?

For the second time in the last three games, Sporting KC forward, Claudio Bieler has been the center of an incident on the field involving Bieler striking an opponent.  A few weeks ago it was a forearm/elbow to the throat area of Brandon McDonald in KC's 1-0 win over DC.  Then this past Saturday night against the LA Galaxy, another incident occurred. In the 89th minute as KC was down 2-0 and won a corner, the ball was played into the box.  Bieler was matched up with AJ DeLaGarza.  As Bieler and DeLaGarza raced to the middle of the 6 yard box, the ball flew over the two.  As Bieler turned to follow the ball, he raised his left elbow right into DeLaGarza's face/neck area.  You can see the play starting at the 3:30 mark of the video below.

There's been no comment from the league's disciplinary committee regarding the elbow, although they have made an announcement already this week on another suspension (giving an extra game and further fine to Juninho for kicking the ball at Jimmy Nielsen).  So unless the committee makes another announcement later this week, Bieler may not earn a suspension again.

But while the league may not have made any moves regarding Bieler, you  have to wonder if Bieler is going to start to develop a rep at least with other players on the field.  Roger Espinoza and Aurelien Collin both developed reputations as dirty players (at least according to Grant Wahl's survey). With that bad rep could come some cheap shots Bieler's way and potentially an injury. He's shown so far that he can play in this league, he can deal with the physicality and he can still find goals, but it'll be interesting to see how his play evolves with his style of play and how players start to play him if he continues with the high elbows.  On the other side of the coin if Bieler continues the behavior it's also only a matter of time before he does hear from the disciplinary committee.

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