NEW YORK — Even if the New York Red Bulls reach the MLS Cup final, they will not see Rafa Márquez in the lineup again this year.
WATCH: Postgame melee after NY-LA first leg
On Thursday evening, Major League Soccer announced that the Red Bulls midfielder has been fined $2,000 and suspended an additional two games following his role in a postgame scuffle following last Sunday’s Western Conference Semifinal first leg against the LA Galaxy. Márquez was issued a red card, meaning he was already suspended for Thursday’s second leg in Los Angeles.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee also fined LA Galaxy striker Adam Cristman and Red Bulls midfielder Teemu Tainio for their actions during the fracas.
The scuffle began seconds after the final whistle in LA’s 1-0 win at Red Bull Arena. Márquez picked up the ball and threw it at LA’s Landon Donovan. In response, Cristman confronted Márquez, and the Mexican international attempted to head butt and punch Cristman. Márquez then collapsed as if he had been struck in the face, although replays indicated that no one made any contact with him.
Several other players quickly arrived on the scene, including Tainio, LA’s Juninho and New York’s Stephen Keel. Juninho was also shown a red card by referee Alex Prus for apparently elbowing Keel in the face.
“After thorough examination of the incident that followed the Oct. 30 game between the New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy, the Disciplinary Committee strongly believed Rafa Márquez must be punished above the red card he was issued for throwing the ball after the final whistle because of the following actions: attempting to head butt Adam Cristman, attempting to punch Adam Cristman; striking Cristman, and simulating that he had been struck in the face,” said MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez, who oversees the disciplinary committee.
Márquez’s additional suspension of two games could be served either in this year’s playoffs, otherwise, it will be served at the start of next season.