David Villa avoids suspension for NYCFC’s playoff second leg vs. Toronto FC
MLS has confirmed that David Villa will be available to play in Sunday’s MLS Eastern Conference semifinal second leg between NYCFC and Toronto FC.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee did review the incident between Villa and Toronto’s Armando Cooper on Sunday in which Villa kicked out at Cooper but was not sanctioned by the referee. According to the committee parameters, if a referee sees the play but does not give a red card, a suspension will come only if the five-member Disciplinary Committee is unanimous on two things: One, that the offense is a clear red card, and two, that the play is of an egregious or reckless nature so that they need to protect player safety.
The Disciplinary Committee was unanimous that Villa’s kick deserved a red card, but it was not unanimous that it was of an egregious nature with the need to protect player safety.
So David Villa, who was confirmed as one of three finalists for MLS’s MVP award on Tuesday, will play.
NYCFC faces a 2-0 deficit after Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts scored late at BMO Field to tilt the balance in favor of the Reds in last Sunday’s first leg.
Here are a couple of more insider notes from around the soccer world: