In the 88th minute of Atlanta United’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Atlanta midfielder Carlos Carmona was shown a straight red card by referee Mark Geiger after stepping on Red Bulls midfielder Felipe. It’s hard to tell fully, but the action was clear and Carmona was promptly sent off.
In Carmona’s case, since he was ruled to have acted in an unsportsmanlike way - and toward an injured player, no less - the red card was warranted in Geiger’s eyes. It really was a moment of lost composure for Carmona and he should have never found himself in that position in the first place.
For those that may be new to the game or new to MLS, here’s what a red card means:
According to the league Disciplinary Committee Principles and Parameters, a red card results in an immediate sending off, a one-match ban, and a fine of $250. Also, if a player is shown a red card, the club may opt to appeal, but have 24 hours following the conclusion of the match to do so. It looks as if Atlanta United have opted not to appeal, and even if they did, it’s likely the red card would have been upheld by the committee anyway.
Carmona will miss Sunday’s match at Minnesota United as a result of his actions. He may not be out of the woods just yet, though. Any red card shown in the course of a match is subject to further review by the committee to determine if a longer ban is necessary, according to league rules.
The Disciplinary Committee, comprised of three former MLS players, one former MLS coach and one former MLS referee, will have the authority to act in following instances:
1. Where the referee sees an incident and issues a red card, the Committee may review the play for further disciplinary action, over and above the mandatory suspension and fine.
The Disciplinary Committee must now decide if any more punishment on top of the automatic one-match ban is warranted for Carmona. If they do, expect at least a three-match ban, putting him on the shelf for not just Minnesota, but for Atlanta’s March 18 home game against the Chicago Fire and their March 31 tilt at defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders FC. The best case scenario is if they rule that there was no malicious intent and determine that just the one match is enough.
While Yamil Asad made history with the first goal in Atlanta United history on Sunday night, Carlos Carmona saw history made in a much more dubious way. Let’s hope it’s a lesson learned for himself and the rest of the team moving forward.