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 ESPN3.com.
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.