It’s no secret that Leandro Gonzalez Pirez fouls a lot.
In his two seasons with Atlanta United, the Argentinian defender has acquired more yellow cards than any other MLS player except for one. With fifteen cautions, Anibal Godoy of the San Jose Earthquakes has also received just as many in the past two years as Pirez has.
Due to this, Pirez has served three separate suspensions for misconduct during his time in MLS. The first came after he was issued a straight red card against the Montreal Impact last season, the second after Pirez’s yellow card accumulation caught up with him midway through the season and forced the 26-year-old to miss the wild 3-3 draw against Orlando City, and the most recent disqualification came this past March when he saw two yellow cards away at Minnesota United.
“LGP” is currently on four yellow cards and would receive another suspension if he were to pick up an additional booking at any point the next three matches. However, if Pirez were to avoid doing so, the MLS “good behavior incentive” would automatically reduce his yellow card accumulation total by one because he appeared in five consecutive matches without receiving a yellow or red card.
History isn’t on Pirez’s side, as he’s only managed to go five consecutive matches without a caution once in his time with Atlanta. However, the player who prides himself on his physicality was keen on rewriting expectations when speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, while also adding a little jab at the officiating that’s gotten him to this point.
“I try to save myself for the next yellow because I already have four, but maybe one or two yellows I got were not good because I didn’t deserve them. I try to be careful though...There are always things players can improve on. One thing for me is maybe having less fouls and less yellow card suspensions.”
This is certainly something to look out for the next three matches. Godspeed, LGP. We wish you all the best in this endeavor.