Talking Barry Robson and the MLS DC

Talking Barry Robson and the MLS DC

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 20, 2012
  • 2012 MLS Season, Features

Barry Robson has to learn that MLS refs are different than European refs. (Getty Images)

I wish I had more time over the weekend to really go into this. Saturday morning an email went out to the media regarding the suspension of Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Barry Robson for his actions on last Wednesday night against FC Dallas.

Robson kicked a ball towards an official in the late stages of that game and based on what we’ve seen earlier this year from guys like Brek Shea and David Beckham, that is a no-no.

But the fine and suspension of Robson isn’t what is troubling about this situation. It comes down to the old issue that MLS has always had a problem with – timing.

Yes, timing has never been their thing. Either it is announcing tiebreakers in the middle of the season or in this case announcing a player suspension just hours before he goes on the field to play. Either way the public perception of these timing issues look horrible on the league.

Now I know Vancouver was aware of this suspension on Friday, heck on Thursday they were told it could happen as the league’s Discipline Committee always reviews situations and informs the clubs the day after each game that a suspension could be in the works.

Steve Davis over at ProSoccer Talk had this quote from MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez, who oversees the Disciplinary Committee that should shed some light on the Robson situation.

“Vancouver was made aware that the incident was under review on Thursday morning. All of the gathered evidence was only available to the Disciplinary Committee as of mid-day on Friday. Logistical and personal issues kept the Committee from convening in its normal manner which unfortunately delayed the final decision.

Though Vancouver was informed of the suspension [Friday] evening, the Whitecaps were kept apprised of the situation and the possibility of a suspension throughout the process.

We intend to work with the MLS Players Union to see if an expedited process can be agreed upon in similar circumstances in the future.”

Expedite the process for these matters is exactly what needs to happen. Suspensions really should come on two days prior to a game. So Mondays for Wednesday games and Thursdays for Saturday/Sunday games. Davis is saying in his post on the matter that 72 hours should be the time limit – something I don’t disagree with but have a feeling the league won’t be able to accommodate.

Either way this situation and several others like it from this season have shed some light on this committee and how things need to improve. Timing is everything in life and in sports and for MLS to progress they must get this right going forward.