An independent review panel has rescinded Eddie Johnson‘s red card, clearing him to play for D.C. United against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
Johnson was sent off in the 82nd minute of a 2-1 loss at New England last Saturday after tangling with Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe — even though Johnson did not appear to make any contact with the fallen opponent. Because referee Juan Guzman ruled it “violent,” Johnson was facing a two-game suspension.
On Wednesday, however, the MLS disciplinary committee agreed unanimously that Johnson had not committed a serious foul, reducing the penalty to one match. The committee does not have the power to overturn a red card, but the three-member independent panel does. Consisting of representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and the Professional Referees Organization, the panel ruled unanimously that the red card was not warranted.
“We are pleased because we felt strongly it was not a red card violation,” United General Manager Dave Kasper said. “There is a process and a system for appealing, and the system worked.”
Johnson had just returned from serving a one-game suspension levied by the disciplinary committee for an incident with Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins on May 17.
Guzman also botched a call in United’s match at Columbus in April.