Officials to Review Tape Of United-Fire Incident

By Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2008

The U.S. Soccer Federation will review tape of D.C. United's 2-1 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over the Chicago Fire on Tuesday night following a skirmish involving Chicago's Cuauhtémoc Blanco and United's Marc Burch and Clyde Simms.

The fight occurred late in the first overtime period, and both Blanco and Burch were ejected for violent conduct. Blanco attempted to punch a ball held in the left hand of Simms, with the blow instead striking the D.C. midfielder in the ribs. Burch retaliated by pushing Blanco over. Then Blanco appeared to hit Simms in the face.

He also head-butted a D.C. United game-day operations employee as he was being escorted off the field, according to sources close to the situation.

Chicago Fire Vice President of Communications Gregg Elkin, however, said Blanco did not head-butt anyone.

"[Blanco] did stop at the bench to pick up whatever and the guy got on him, and when he turned to leave, his forehead did graze the cheek or jaw area," Elkin said.

Elkin also said Blanco and a Fire security guard were yelled at by fans and United employees as they walked off the field and again in the locker room area.

The USSF disciplinary committee "will meet in the near future and review any actions taken by Blanco and any other players and make a ruling on whether he has any additional suspension over the one-game suspension for the red card," said Neil Buethe, Senior Manager of Communications for U.S. Soccer. Protocol requires that all U.S. Open Cup games be reviewed.

D.C. United did not comment on the specifics of the incident but issued a statement saying it will send the footage to MLS.

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