MLS Disciplinary Committee warns Sounders, Whitecaps; hands out three fines

WhitecapsSounders (USA Today Sports)


The MLS Disciplinary Committee has punished the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and two players for a confrontation that occurred in their May 24 matchup.

Both the Sounders and Whitecaps were warned by the league violating the league’s mass confrontation policy. The incident occurred when Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda got into an animated argument with Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Morales after Pineda grabbed the ball from Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. Both Morales, and Sounders’ forward Chad Barrett, who intervened with a shove, were fined by the league for contact to the head of an opponent and escalating the incident, respectively. The exact amount each player was fined was undisclosed.

Joining Morales and Barrett on the MLS fines list was Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen, who earned the league’s ire for public criticism following Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw with Sporting KC.

Video of the incident between the Sounders and Whitecaps can be seen here:


What do you think of the punishments handed out? Do you think the Sounders-Whitecaps incident was worth of punishment?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to MLS Disciplinary Committee warns Sounders, Whitecaps; hands out three fines

  1. reignman says:

    I think the ref acted horribly in this incident, he essentially ran away and let the players sort it out, that is a terrible idea. I am a bit shocked it didn’t escalate any further.

    • Dustin says:

      The referee did exactly as USSF instructed. When players come together don’t get in the middle, form a triangle and watch what happens, record numbers for cards if needed.

      • reignman says:

        It was a bit odd to see, I watch a ton of soccer and never see refs retreat like that, maybe this is unique to USSF. If so I stand corrected

        • Dustin says:

          The MLS has a sort of history with mass confrontations, which is why they made it a point of emphasis to prevent it and fine teams that do it. Early days of the MLS there was mass confrontations constantly, it was a mess. USSF over the years has instructed referees not to get in the middle of things where they can’t really see anything anyways. You stick to the outside of the group and record numbers.

          • reignman says:

            Thanks for the info, it is definitely a stark contrast to how confrontations like that are handled in other leagues.

    • Jonathon says:

      That’s what referees are taught to do when mass confrontations happen. They’re supposed to disengage and get a wider view so they don’t miss any violent conduct.

  2. emo says:

    And despite that, the ref DID miss violent conduct – as the Disciplinary Committee noted, Morales makes contact to the head and Barrett shoves him back. Those were both pretty obvious, and speaks to what a poor job Elfath did.

    • Mason says:

      Did they actually call the shove and the contact to the head of an opponent VC?

      If they did, shouldn’t they be suspending players for a game or two?

    • Dustin says:

      No I don’t think either thing was violent conduct, just handbags. People getting riled up and then calming back down. This is why they didn’t ban anyone, if they thought it was violent conduct they’d be missing games. Instead they got them on fines for mass confrontation, which is specifically an MLS thing, not in the Laws.

  3. Older & Wiser says:

    Granted I did not see this when it happened and the video is quite choppy and difficult to follow, it looks like a kind of “handbags at ten paces”-type situation, no?