Club won't appeal Klopas/Anibaba suspensions

After news of suspensions to Frank Klopas and Jalil Anibaba were handed down on Monday the club said today it would not appeal the decisions of the MLS Disciplinary Committee.  "I respect the decision that the league has made and we just have to move forward," said Frank Klopas after training this morning.  "I'm not going to deny the fact that there are a lot of emotions in the game and I did have some words to say with the referee.  Unfortunately it's in the heat of the moment and you can't take that back," Klopas contined.  "There's an appeal process but for me to appeal...for what? I'm not denying the fact that in the emotions of the game I went there and said things to the refs.  They made a decision, I accept it, I move on."

Assistant coaches Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovic will take over the coaching duties on the bench during the game but Klopas will still travel with the team and conduct training on Thursday although he cannot interact with the club at the Home Depot Center on Friday night(correction).

Defender Jalil Anibaba wasn't very happy with the way the suspensions were handed out since he received no indication from referee Michael Kennedy that he had been carded.  "It's a bit interesting that I find out yesterday as opposed to during the game or right after but it's the ref's decision and there's not much I can do about it now," said Anibaba.  The actual reason for the suspension has also not been clearly relayed to him.  "I've heard three different things.  I've heard for fighting.  I've heard for the tackle and I've heard for starting the fight.  I'm not really sure," he said when asked if there was any reason given by the league.

The red card was not announced to the media after the match and didn't become evident until it appeared in the MLS match recap online the next afternoon.  " I didn't know for sure until yesterday which is a bit of a shame.  I think it's a bit unprofessional to find out elsewhere that I'd been issued a red card.  It's unfortunate but you have to deal with it going forward and take it as a learning process," said the second year defender.

"At the end of the day emotions were high and I think both teams were just trying to protect their own players.  I don't think there was mal-intention from any party.  It's just a bit unfortunate that we got the short end of the stick," continued Anibaba.

Rolfe still on the mend

It appears that forward Chris Rolfe will miss his third match since re-joining the team.  He did not train today and is still experiencing some pain in the injured ankle.  "I'm just like you guys," Klopas told the media.  "Hoping day by day that it's getting better. He's moving along and doing more things inside as far as riding the bike and that kind of stuff," said Klopas.  Rolfe is improving on a daily basis and is no longer wearing the precautionary boot that he sported this past weekend.

Johnson in goal

Sean Johnson had a shaky outing against Seattle but Klopas maintains his confidence in Johnson as the club's starting goalkeeper.  "I've always said we have very good goalkeepers. We have depth on the team," said Klopas.  "I don't point at one guy...I always talk about the team," he responded when asked about Johnson's performance.  "Unfortunately we got a little bit unlucky on the first goal where there's a deflection.  On the second one, part of it had to do with the wind, part of it had to with putting five guys on the wall and not having an extra guy back.  You can look at all those things," he said moving away from Johnson specifically.  "We're all men and adults and everybody can lift up their hand and say we could have done a better job with that but we're a team.  I feel confident and I feel good about the fact that when you look at that game like we did many times over and over again that we did move the ball well, that we did create opportunities.  We didn't capitalize on the chances we got and obviously when you give up two goals you make it difficult on yourself against a very good team that doesn't give up a lot of goals".

Berry to get first MLS start

Rookie Austin Berry is expected to make his first MLS regular season appearance in place of the suspended Anibaba.  Some experts called Berry the most MLS-ready player in this year's draft and the University of Louisville product is looking forward to proving them right.  "I feel ready. I had a strong preseason and in the beginning part of the season getting better every day.  The coaching staff and the team are helping me grow and I feel confident this will be my first start," said Berry.

The first round selection started next to Friedrich in a friendly match against Louisville a few weeks ago and feels that game can help him going into his first MLS start.  "It's going to be helpful having Arne next to me, he's big on communication and he's a world class player,"said Berry.  "As a backline you have to get used to playing with each other, get used to moving and having a fluid movement across the backline so it's nice to already have a little bit of a scrimmage game to get used to playing next to Arne."

Looking ahead to Chivas USA

"They've been winning on the road and dropping points at home but they're a team that creates opportunities," said Klopas.  "They're a dangerous team.  The field is big so managing the ball and doing all the things that we talked about here (will be important).  It's a difficult match.  They've played well even in the games that they've lost there".

Chivas USA is 0-4-0 at home this season with losses to Houston, Vancouver, Sporting KC, and Philadelphia at the Home Depot Center.  Oddly enough they had beaten Real Salt Lake, Portland, and Toronto on the road before losing to Colorado 4-0 last weekend.

The match will be televised by ESPN Deportes and will also be available online via

Eddie Johnson fined

MLS handed out an undisclosed fine to Seattle forward Eddie Johnson for "inappropriate gestures" directed toward fans after leaving the field on Saturday night.

No word yet on any additional punishment for either team as a result of the melee immediately after the match.

Filed under: 2012 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Very nice preview Guillermo. Thanks for the info on Rolfe.

    I have two problems with the suspensions: one is the lack of explanation given. The league has to look at what the NHL is doing and consider adopting the approach of issuing an explanation. On the pitch, players expect a ref to be consistent - if you're going to call a lax game, fine, call if for both teams; or, if you're going to be harsh on tackles from behind, ok, do it for both teams so players can adjust.

    Without giving a reason, Anibaba is given a red card and a suspension. Tell him why so he can sleep at night and avoid doing it again - he's still relatively new to the league. That's point #1.

    Next problem: Hurtado's choke on Pappa. I don't care about the bogus forensics of Seattle fans ("you can see that the pressure is being applied by the fingers and not the thumbs yadda yadda yadda"). Hurtado is an idiot to put hands on throats, precisely because in a melee someone's going to say "hey, that's a choke" no matter if Hurtado is as clinical as a surgeon in his application of pressure to his fingertips while simultaneously pushing Pappa back (which is what some Seattle fans seemed to be arguing). It takes two to tango, and it's not like Klopas and Anibaba were out there flogging the Sounders while they threw their hands up and called for their mommies to save them so they could go have their milk and cookies - witness Eddie Johnson's "inappropriate gestures."

    C'mon MLS. You can do better than this.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Thanks Modibo. There really does need to be an official explanation for the red card. I don't think the late tackle was enough to justify a straight red.

    I don't have much issue with the lack of suspension for Hurtado though. Despite the dissection of the "choke" I really didn't see much more than your typical sports team fight which involved a lot of pushing and shoving and no real "fighting". If Hurtado would have been suspended, Pappa probably had one coming as well for his paintbrush slap on Evans. After all it's not like Hurtado grabbed him by the neck and choke slammed him a la the Undertaker. Fines may have been appropriate but

    As for Johnson, I thought his actions were worse than anything that happened in the melee. He was fined but the punishment could have been stiffer. MLS cannot send the message to players that it is ok to incite or elevate the anger of a crowd with inflammatory behavior. The league does not need a fight in the stands situation like we've seen in other sports and other leagues. It's silly and unprofessional to react the way he did to heckling.

  • If this game does anything, it makes me more passionate about the Fire because they got P.O.'d as a team. It also makes me now dislike another MLS franchise the way I don't like the Revs (for past playoff abuse), DC United for being annoying, and Columbus for being pains in the.... There's the connection...Its the coach.

  • I didn't have much of a problem either with the lack of suspensions against Seattle for the melee, except that the imbalance between treatment accorded the two teams was injudicious. But if we're going to run a major sports league in America with third world calibre officiating and league office, we better learn to accept this.

    I've come to believe the referees in MLS subconsciously disrespect the teams that aren't demonstrated winners. They take the attitude that these teams were going to lose anyway so why should they step up to defend them with proper and even foul calls. No they don't consciuosly think this, but they might as well. I believe it's born of that juvenile macho sports attitude that the boys have to first stand up for themselves before they are worthy of the respect of carefully rendered fair calls. And standing up for themselves involves both winning and demonstrating a certain punkish toughness. Not right but it tends this way in most sports.

    Just once, I would like to see a match result where the loss goes to the referee and both teams walk away with credit for the win as fair compensation for having put up with a failed referee. I think it would be good for the calibre of the refereeing. Would also be nice to see the occasional alertness raising inadvertent kick to the referee's crotch, but they would probably have to raise ticket prices for that much entertainment. j/k

  • In reply to Arklow:

    If the refs are disrespecting the teams that aren't demonstrated winners, shouldn't they have been disrespecting Seattle? Last time I checked they haven't won anything other than the USOC, and only a paltry three times at that.

    Ha. In seriousness though, I get what you're saying but I don't think that's honestly the case. The ref for the game had a distinct "let them play" policy which threaten the integrity of the game. This was quite apparent in the scuffle at the end of the game. Instead of punishing Anibaba's foolish tackle, the ref blew time and failed to take control of a situation he had lost sometime in the second half. Both teams have complained that their respective Argentine playmakers were hacked throughout the game. I think both may have valid complaints (I'm siding with Segares however, because he's a beast.) The ref was poor and lost control of the game, but I don't think he was subconsciously favouring one side or the other. That said, Oduro didn't help the matter by falling all over the place. IMO he was guilty of a flop or two at least, and sometimes just flatout fell down.

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    I'm moving on. If I stay with this it will just make me more pissed. On to the next game.

  • I can't find a TV broadcast for this game. Is ESPN3 the only option?

  • In reply to Doug:

    It's on ESPN Deportes as well. You can find the TV carriers for each game listed on the "Fire schedule and results" tab here.

  • This TV arrangement is a complete load of crap. It is absurd that the only TV option is in Spanish

  • Are you really that reliant on the announcers? Heck, when Max Bretos or John Harkes were announcing I would have to turn off the volume, which means I wouldn't get to hear the crowd noise. At least in Spanish you can just pay attention to the game and hear the crowd.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    This is practically a non broadcasted game. I don't get Deportes on my package. I think it's either a sports tier or Spanish tier product. At least with Galavision, it's readily available. I don't know who gets the NBC.2 station but I don't. Luckily, the Seattle game was on Direct Kick. I was hoping this would be too but I suppose this is a nationally contracted game so they can't get it. That said, I think we do (or did last year) have English broadcasts when games were on Galavision.

  • It's also on ESPN 3, which even if you can't watch it via Xbox Live, you can still stream through your computer.

    Sure streaming through your comp. isn't optimal, but the ESPN3 stream is high quality, so you won't be missing the game, nor dealing with a shoddy spam-filled hijacked stream.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    That's if you have access to ESPN 3. Those of us with DirecTV are SOL.

  • In reply to dustbin:

    Ah, my bad. I forgot they changed ESPN 3 a while back. I'm used to the days when you didn't have to have a certain provider to get access to ESPN3. I also have an XBL acct., so it's never been an issue.

    Party at Jeff's house! :)

  • If you have an old computer lying around that you're not using anymore with at least a Pentium 4 or higher and 1gb of ram, you can put XBMC on it and have a nice ESPN3 streaming machine.

    I took home a 5 year old computer from work that the boss let me have and I bought a 25" monitor for about $75 and it works like a charm.

    I just bought a TV tuner for around $40 which allows me to grab HD signals for free from over-the-air channels. Assuming you are in Chicago metro you can pick up NBC 5.2 over the air and watch in HD. Same with Mexican league games--although the establishment of Univision Deportes is screwing with that option. Univision is apparently taking some of the better games off the over-the-air channels for the new cable channel. I don't think this is impacting the Liguilla right now, but it could in the Apertura 2012.

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