CARSON, Calif. — The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committe weighed in Tuesday on an incident in the LA Galaxy's loss last weekend at Real Salt Lake involving the LA midfielder Marcelo Sarvas and RSL's Ned Grabavoy, fining Grabavoy for simulation after he took a dive in the waning seconds of the match.
But even that decision doesn't change a uniquely frustrating situation for Sarvas, who picked up his fifth yellow card this season on the play and must sit out next week's showdown at home with the Portland Timbers. MLS and the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) have a mechanism to review and rescind red cards, but there is no approved process to deal with errant yellows, even though the committe ruled there was no contact on the play,
And so Sarvas, arguably the Galaxy's MVP through their first 14 games, will miss one of the biggest matches of the season so far.
“That's a rules issue right now,” head coach Bruce Arena said after the Galaxy's training session Wednesday morning. “It's a perfect example how they have to get that corrected. ... It will have to be done next year, I guess.”
The incident occurred in the 91st minute of RSL's 3-1 victory, with Sarvas matching Grabavoy step-for-step along the left sideline near midfield. Grabavoy fell to the ground in a heap, and referee Drew Fischer cautioned Sarvas.
“There's nothing that I can do,” Sarvas said Wednesday. “I think if we're going to say something, we have to say about the referee, because this happens all the time, simulation in the games. I think it's about interpretation and a little bit feeling, because it was like 90 minutes; there's no reason to give a card in that circumstance.
“First when [Fischer] came, I told him, 'Look, it's no foul.' And then he came and put his hand in the pocket to give me yellow card. I said, 'Don't do this, because it's my fifth yellow card, you're going to make two mistakes.' But he didn't listen, he didn't care. There's nothing I can do now.”
Said Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan: "Maybe there should be some addendum to a fifth yellow in a moment of embellishment, maybe alleviate the suspension. Maybe that's something for review.”
Arena said the Galaxy had no issues with how things played out, that “in this league, if you worry about the officiating, you'll drive yourself crazy.”
“It's a mistake, and that's life ...,” Arena said. “Hopefully, these young officials are getting better. That's the goal.”