CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo voiced his displeasure with the MLS Disciplinary Committee's decision to suspend Jermaine Jones and Dave Romney for the team's clash with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Jones (foul) and Romney (embellishment) were fined and suspended for one match for their actions during the team's 2-1 defeat to FC Dallas last week. After training on Thursday, Onalfo told reporters that the decision to give a suspension to the two players was "ridiculous."
“I watched every game in the league this past weekend, and I saw far worse offenses. I think that it’s wrong. I think it’s ridiculous. I’ll defend my players all the way to the end. Jermaine’s [offense] was a professional foul. It was a hard tackle. And Romney got hit. So, it’s frustrating, but what are you going to do?” Onalfo told reporters on Thursday. “You have to respect what has been decided and rise above it. That’s what we’ll do. It’s an opportunity for two more players to step up in our group and do a great job. We’re a group that finds solutions; we don’t make excuses. I’m not going to be happy about it because I’m not.
“Any coach in the league is going to feel the same way if he’s going into a game with two suspensions and they’re both from your team early in the season. I think it sets a difficult precedent. I’m not going to spend any more time worrying about it because we’ve dealt with it throughout the week. Our team is ready, and we look forward to the game on the weekend.”
As for who fills in for the two suspended players, Onalfo admits that he already has his plan in place for who will start against Portland, but did not reveal their names, simply stating that the team has a "number of options" to fill the voids.
“This will make us better. It gives more players minutes,” Onalfo said. “It’s not ideal, but we’re very confident with everyone within the group to step in and do a job, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve had a very good week of training. We’ll field a very strong team on Sunday.”