MLS Must Show Spine and Suspend Beckham

It’s finally come.  After a few years of dangerous tackles and public outbursts against officials, MLS finally has a very public example of poor behavior by David Beckham that will either lead to a suspension or a discrediting of league management.  Saturday night saw the best and worst of Beckham: his lovely free kick goal

… and his very public outburst at the end of the game.  The video below shows Beckham kicking the ball towards the official and refusing to leave the field during a post-game scrum, both offenses that can lead to suspensions (see a better version of the incident here).

Now before getting into my analysis I don’t anyone to take this post as saying Beckham’s a bad guy or a dirty player.  To be blunt, the guy’s had a crappy week.  Between losing out on his last chance to play international football at a competitive level and enduring an emotional, physical game against a local rival, temperatures were already boiling and some loss of cool not only should be expected, but I even feel for him at some level.  That said, it is the level of anger and frustration that is the aim of this post, not that he possessed it.

It also needs to be acknowledged that the end of the game was a debacle.  Referee Hilario Grajeda had lost control of this game for a while, and in my opinion Sam Cronin was engaging in a bit of time wasting (especially since he reacts so quickly to the kick).  However, such extenuating circumstances do not excuse Beckham’s actions (remember what your mother told you when your older sibling hit you?).  In addition to the admittedly well-placed kick at Cronin, Beckham then proceeds to come over to the scrum of players and begin jawing and provoking a fight on the field.  Again, he is not singularly at fault for this but he is certainly the catalyst for the ramping-up of the action.  As such, he needs to be held responsible for helping scar what turned out to be an incredibly good match.

So what should happen to Beckham? He has already earned a game’s suspension for yellow card accumulation.  MLS needs to add on three additional games this week.  This season alone, Brek Shea has been suspended three games for kicking the ball at an official and although seemingly Beckham aimed the kicked at Cronin it definitely hit the official as well.  Thus three games plus the automatic makes sense.  But what if MLS fails to act or to add a suspension in addition to the already one game?  MLS officials will never again be able to defend themselves against charges that they hold Beckham to a higher standard.

What happened on the field on Saturday night was an act of petulance, an action that embarrasses the league and turned a tense match into a spectacle.  If the league wants to show its fans that no one is above the law, then it absolutely must extend the suspension.  But what do you think?

29 Responses to MLS Must Show Spine and Suspend Beckham

  1. Tijuana Robert says:

    That is pretty hilarious footage. The placement of the ball between
    player and ref is why MLS paid so much for Becks. HAH

  2. francesco says:

    I’d say MLS does have to show some spine and hand Beckham a
    suspension, but on the bright side he can still work the Burger
    King counter while he’s off. Also I’d like to point out how
    ridiculous it is to see Cronin pop up so quickly after getting hit.
    I can’t fault the guy for taking his time, but too often we see the
    beautiful game turning into the ugly game when players take
    creative license when they are supposedly hurt.

  3. Charles says:

    It is 100% MLS’ fault. Time wasting works, so players will do it.
    Stop the clock and you solve it. Pretty simple stuff. IF MLS is
    waiting for Europe to do this first, catch a clue. Just do it MLS,
    the whole world will thank you when it catches on.

    • Ramiro says:

      @Charles. I don’t blame MLS. I blame USSF because they oversee the
      referees and it is up to the referees to simply add on more
      stoppage time when situations of time wasting like this arise. When
      stoppage time is announced, the announcer says that a MINIMUM of X
      amount of minutes will be added and so the referee should add more.
      Stopping the clock will solve the problem of time wasting, BUT
      feigning injury or other methods of “time wasting” don’t just help
      run down the clock, but they also stop the rhythm of the game, they
      stop the fluidity of the game and most importantly, they kill off
      any momentum in the game. Maybe stopping the clock will prevent
      players from actually wasting time, but this will not deter players
      from using other methods to essentially kill off a game. I have
      seen many games in Europe where referees go beyond the X amount of
      minutes of stoppage time when they feel that instances/events of
      time wasting have taken place.

      • Charles says:

        Putting a band aid on soccer’s open wound. You should have stopped
        at, stopping the clock will work. What exactly is the reason for
        NOT doing it ? There has not been a game in Europe where people
        have not complained about this either. When the ref adds time
        because of faking, the people who want the game over complain…of
        course. TRANSPARENCY is needed, and there is no reason for not
        having it.

  4. evred says:

    The fact that Cronin is able to pop up so quickly after laying on
    the ground for so long is a joke. That is the problem with soccer
    on all levels, not just the MLS. So Beckham should get suspended
    and if a player is able to pop up like that he should get a
    straight red. Lets see how long it takes players to realize that
    crap is ruining the game.

  5. Michael says:

    “It is 100% MLS’ fault. Time wasting works, so players will do it.
    Stop the clock and you solve it. Pretty simple stuff.” No, refs who
    actually add the appropriate time to the end of matches solves it
    and is even MORE simple. And by and large most do. There are refs
    who look down at their watches when a player goes down or walks
    slowly off the field on a sub. There are those who don’t. They all
    should. Perhaps even give them an a stopwatch they can click on or
    off to take any guesswork out of it. But don’t NFL-ize soccer just
    because you think stalling is some scourge. Oh, and MLS already
    tried a “countdown clock.” Didn’t make that much of a difference.

    • Charles says:

      Simpler ? How so ?………………..Plus it solves NOTHING.
      People still argue about how much time and did the ref add the
      correct amount, is the guys stalling while walking off the field,
      he isn’t really injured, etc…….. As long as that is not
      transparent people will fake. So that is the reason people are
      against it, because it NFL-izes it. Wow. Woooooowwwww. MLS grow
      pair, and do the right thing. Everyone will thank you for it in the
      long run. Most likely scenerio, no one does anything and articles
      like this are written for all eternity. Picture me now walking off
      the field so slowly my dead grandma would pass

      • Alex says:

        theres something seriously wrong with you if you are actually
        proposing americanizing the worlds game by stopping the clock. good
        luck with that im sure you’ll will have great success with your

  6. Kathy says:

    Cronin was on the ground for 13 seconds between getting kicked in
    the head and Beckham trying and failing to get him with the ball
    the first time. He’d already told the ref he was okay and didn’t
    need the trainer before Beckham tried again at 18 seconds. Let’s
    all freak out about 18 seconds when Beckham himself wasted more
    time than that kicking the ball away on corner kicks and jawing
    with refs.

    • Alan says:

      The most sensible comment on here.

      • DMV Sportswire says:

        Kathy, You must be a Quakes fan … in fact, you’re clearly a
        Quakes fan. Any neutral would see that both sides were at fault. At
        least Beckham’s was obvious. Sam Cronin was being a sissy punk and
        it looks real bad to get up so quickly after being “hurt”, 18
        seconds or not.

  7. Kevin says:

    “MLS officials will never again be able to defend themselves
    against charges that they hold Beckham to a higher standard.” Don’t
    you mean that some think there is a LOWER standard for Beckham?
    Wouldn’t a higher standard mean the rules are even stricter for

  8. CTBlues says:

    I thought Beckham said something about Cronin’s wife or girlfriend
    the way he shot off the ground and not kick a ball at him.

  9. Tijuana Robert says:

    Have any of you guys played soccer competitively? You guys act as
    if its easy to run around for 90 minutes. Time wasting is strategy
    to break up momentum and get a BREATHER. It’s part of the game. I
    don’t want refs to stop the clock every time someone goes down
    because it will turn into other AMERICAN TV COMMERCIAL SPORT

    • Charles says:

      I am better shape I guess.

      • Alex says:

        you who is asking to stop the clock so you can grab a hot dog.
        pinnacle of fitness right here. stopping the clock will not solve
        anything. it will only make it worse. scnario a ref stops the clock
        due to time wasting, say by some miracle it wont go to commercials
        players go to argue with the ref both sides go at it and the ref
        wont start the game until the brawl ends. one side is asking for
        play on the other is asking to call the game off the ref wont
        budge. fans get up set they leave and theres your wonderful NFL
        idea gone to waste. please charles actually think before you spew
        your ignorance on the internet.

    • Charles says:

      They “stop” the clock now, they just pretend like they don’t and
      they hide how long they do it for. I assume it is to cause
      arguements there is no other reason for it.

    • Roger(pro/rel) says:

      @Tijuana Robert……the way we see association football, and
      people like Garber, Gulatis and Charles see it is SSOOO
      different…………….that i relly think they should break apart
      from FIFA, and create a different sport…that way they could have
      stoped and countdown clocks, shoot outs, multiple substitutions, 4
      quarters, all star game, salary cap, franchises instead of real
      clubs, 50% of franchises going to playoffs, commisioners will
      probably be from the NFL, bailarinas dancing between quartes.
      Charles would love it!!…………………….they talk about
      changing this and that, completly ignoring that(unlike the NFL),
      our game have an international goberning body that decides such
      changes. ……..I really really wish they break away from FIFA and
      create their own game, just like they made american football out of

      • Charles says:

        Oh NO, we would have to break away from FIFA !?!?!? Please no,
        don’t do that !!! Oh the humanity.

        • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

          Yes I think the USSF should break away from FIFA……they allowed
          MLS to institute single entity, a practice that is totally against
          the essence of international soccer. If our “leaders” do not
          believe in the principles that guide our game, them they should
          break away from Fifa, that way they could keep nfling the heck out
          of MLS, and let us soccer fans have a parallel federation that for
          the first time show American fans a legit club soccer
          experience…………if we don’t believe that Rochester, Orlando,
          Atlanta and others should have the right to earn promotion by their
          results, why should Fifa allow our usmnt the chance to qualify to
          the WC by its results?………. Why our franchises should be
          allowed to qualify to the CCL, and the Fifa Clubs World Cup based
          on their results?……We want to be like the NFL?!……….well
          …….be like the NFL!

      • Alan says:

        Of course, you could have the most Euro thing of all, and that is
        actually supporting your domestic league and its teams even when
        you disagree with them. I’m sure EPL fans might be outraged if such
        things happened in their league, but that alone would not make them
        go watch another league in another country instead of their own
        league. Who am I kidding though, that would mean that I am speaking
        to someone sensible. **Cue the mickey mouse league comments,
        whatever that means.**

        • Alex says:

          mickey mouse league means that this league is sub par and as
          plastic as disney world or anything at walmart. if they dont
          suspend that other guy for faking injury as they did with beckham
          then the mickey mouse league comments are justifiable. i cant take
          these refs seriously even after the fact MLS/USSF/CSA launched a
          referee task force.

          • Alan says:

            Yeah, because people are always suspended in every league for
            faking an injury or wasting time. In most cases they are shown a
            card. That makes those leagues a Mickey Mouse league too.

  10. Kelly Donovan says:

    He’s human, it was a bad week, and I do understand that~ but it’s
    poor sportsmanship. Beckham gets paid WAY too much money to show
    such bullying tactics. It’s not MLS’ fault, the ref’s fault, the
    Olympic’s fault. It’s his, and there are so many kids watching his
    games and his moves~my question is, what do his actions show to all
    of them?

  11. Alan says:

    From someone that was there, Beckham was pulling similar crap
    throughout. I’m not sure how much of it ended up on camera or not.
    We can debate Cronin’s “time-wasting”, but that is not the issue,
    nor an excuse for bad behavior.

  12. The original Tom says:

    I’m guessing he wants to serve a suspension during the Olympics!

  13. CTBlues says:

    Well MLS has shown it has no spine:'s-beckham-handed-one-match-ban?cc=5901
    He is only getting the 1 match ban and a fine which the amount is

  14. The original Tom says:

    What a bummer for fans going to the Chicago game this weekend
    expecting to see Beckham. At least they will get to see Donovan. LA
    won’t be back next year if the unbalanced schedule continues. -———
    It will be interesting to see if LA make the play-offs this year.

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