UPDATE 12:10 p.m. — Here is some response to the issue from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid after Tuesday’s practice.
“CONCACAF was a little unclear, because normally yellow cards wipe clean after the group stage. CONCACAF has a rule where it wipes clean after the quarterfinal stage. In any other tournament — the World Cup, youth world championships or qualifying tournaments — there are various stages, and usually after the group stage it wipes clean and you start over. Now everybody is wiped clean, but obviously that was Gspurning’s second yellow.
We don’t have any recourse with CONCACAF. I thought the yellow was really harsh in that game, because they were subbing at the time, and so Gspurning was waiting for their player to get off the field — because he was exiting the field on the end line — and the referee gave him a yellow for not putting the ball into play. And he’s like sitting there, ‘I can’t put the ball into play. The guy is still on the field; they’re subbing.’ So it was a little bit of a confusing issue.”
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There was a surprise, and not a good one, in Sounders FC’s weekly notes package.
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning actually picked up a yellow card for delaying the game in the 86th of the second leg in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal win against Mexico’s Tigres UANL. The caution wasn’t listed in the postgame stat sheet, and I missed it watching in live action.
That gives Gspurning two yellow cards in the tournament — he got one in a Sept. 19 group-stage game against CD Marathon of Honduras — and, thus, a one-game suspension.
Here is rule 6.29 in the CCL rulebook:
Any player to accumulate two single yellow cards in two different matches in the CCL is suspended for the following game. Thereafter, each time a player accumulates two single yellow cards in two different matches, he will be suspended for the following game with the exception that single cautions will be eliminated at the end of the Quarter-Final Round and at the end of the Championship Stage.
With single yellows gone after the quarterfinals, it sounds like no other Sounders should be at risk of any more surprising suspensions this tournament.
The Sounders have repeatedly stated they are comfortable with backup Marcus Hahnemann and it looks like he’ll be starting in one of the biggest games in franchise history. The veteran is yet to play this year, aside from strong work in preseason.
Hahnemann chatted about it recently on the SoundersFC.com RoundTable: “These opportunities are not going to be coming for that many more years for me. I’m super excited that I get a chance to play. It’s going to be a great atmosphere at home in front of my home fans and I’m going to love it.”
Any thoughts on the news?