Sporting KC came away with a 1-0 win over DC United on Friday night to improve the team's record to 3-1-2 on the season thanks to an 89th minute goal from Claudio Bieler. Some DC players though felt that Bieler shouldn't have even been on the field at that time to score the winning goal. The argument is that Bieler should have been sent off in the 25th minute for an elbow to the chest/throat of DC United defender Brandon McDonald.
The incident occurred shortly after a Sporting KC restart for an offside call on DC United. As Sporting worked their way back up the field, finding CJ Sapong. Sapong had the ball touched away from him by a United defender into the path of McDonald. McDonald cleared the ball one time up the field while under pressure from Bieler. Bieler turned and made a small jump looking to block the ball, but did not. As Bieler then turned to head back towards the defensive end of the field, he raised his elbow with McDonald behind him. Play was stopped shortly after as McDonald had gone down clutching his throat.
The DC United players were calling for a red card for Bieler at the time. The referee, Armando Villarreal seemed to get a look at the play during play, but did not make a call. After McDonald stayed down, Villarreal looked to his linesman though who was making a hand motion that seemed to indicate that there was nothing in the incident. After a discussion with him, Villarreal did not produce a card of any kind for Bieler.
Post game, the discussion of the no call continued, McDonald said that Bieler "punched me in the throat," which based on the replays doesn't appear to be the case.
McDonald also compared Sporting to the LA Lakers and getting special treatment if the league does not suspend Bieler for the incident.
I could certainly see Bieler being handed a suspension for the play if and when the Disciplinary Committee takes a look at the play. The committee has given suspensions and fines for less in the past. But I'm just not sure that they will at this point. A suspension would leave Bieler unavailable at least for next Wednesday's game in New York against the Red Bulls.
You can see a replay of the incident below starting at the 15 second mark, where Simon Borg believes Bieler should have seen red. But in the videos in this series that I've watched there should be about 1 red card in each game played according to him.
So should Bieler get suspended for his elbow on McDonald? Will he be suspended for the elbow?