Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman, a borderline MLS most valuable candidate, was suspended for two matches for a headbutting incident and, consequently, will miss the final two regular season matches.
MLS’s disciplinary committee ruled Beckerman’s actions were “completely outside the scope of the game and demonstrated utter disregard for the safety of his opponent.”
Beckerman received a red card during the Sept. 28 match against the Chicago Fire and sat out last Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy. He will also miss next Friday against the Colorado Rapids and Oct. 22 against the Portland Timbers. Because Beckerman is currently on U.S. national team duty, the additional suspension did not apply to RSL’s game at Vancouver on Thursday night.
The MLS players’ union appealed the suspension on Beckerman’s behalf, but Commissioner Don Garber upheld the ruling.
Beckerman apologized last week, saying, “I made a mistake and I just split-second made a decision that was really hurtful to the team. And so I’m sorry for that.”
Beckerman is expected to appear in U.S. friendlies against Honduras on Saturday in Miami and Ecuador next Tuesday in Harrison, N.J.
*Ticket sales remain slow for both U.S. matches, particularly in Miami, where 10,000 had been sold as of Thursday night for the event at an NFL stadium. About 12,000 have been sold for the game at Red Bull Arena.