MLS upholds Kyle Beckerman's red card suspension; Petke unloads on decision

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SANDY — In the end, Real Salt Lake’s appeal to rescind Kyle Beckerman’s red card in a 4-1 win at Portland seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Major League Soccer’s independent panel that constitutes the disciplinary committee upheld the red-card decision given out by referee Baldomero Toledo in the 55th minute of RSL’s win over the Timbers.

The card, which came as Timbers forward Fanendo Adi was simultaneously rebuked with a red card, means Beckerman will serve a mandatory one-game suspension Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff of RSL’s annual Pioneer Day match is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.

“Kyle Beckerman struck Portland No. 9 with his raised arm during live play in a violent manner and was shown the red card for this reason (violent conduct is the reason), according to the Laws of the Game,” Toledo told MLS’s media representative following the match.

Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke had some strong thoughts on the decision of the panel, which consists of one representative each from the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Professional Referees Organization.

"I’m beside myself,” Petke told ESPN 700 radio. “Kyle Beckerman gets a red card for what I view as a love tap; Adi charges, knocks him down forcefully, and lays on top of him — and he doesn’t get anything additional.

“The last time I was this disgusted was when Chris Christie closed down a beach my family goes to so his whole family could be there. I don’t get disgusted very often.”

Each MLS club may unsuccessfully challenge two appeals per season, including the playoffs. The Beckerman decision is RSL’s first unsuccessful appeal in 2017.

Petke’s response may be subject to a fine from MLS. But the first-year RSL head coach was unapologetic in his scathing rebuke of the league’s officiating, calling the forthcoming video review system "the first big step in this league's history."

“The referees have the most powerful tool in the game, which is the red card, and the league has their most powerful tool to use against coaches when they speak the truth. In my two years away from the game until now, these were the only things in the game I did not miss. I was literally beside myself. I hope I don’t get fined, but I could care less if I do for say this stuff.”

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