Major League Soccer

MLS disciplinary news: Valentin Castellanos suspended

Lizzy Becherano
Valentin Castellanos suspended after foul play against New York Red Bulls\
Valentin Castellanos suspended after foul play against New York Red Bulls\ / Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee issued three important rulings from last weekend’s Hudson River Derby between the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. 

The organization also ruled that an FC Cincinnati player has been suspended and fined for violent conduct during the match against New York City FC on September 18. 

The League’s disciplinary committee is comprised of three former MLS players, one former coach and referee. One former athlete is designated by the MLS Players Association.


1. Valentin Castellanos suspended for foul play

New York City FC forward Valentin Castellanos has been issued a one-match suspension and fine for an undisclosed amount for his serious foul play on Dru Yearwood in the 37th minute of the match against the New York Red Bulls.

While the play was not initially flagged by the referee, the committee later reviewed the circumstances under Parameter 3. 

The rule states that: “the MLS Disciplinary Committee shall issue either a one-match suspension on incidents in which the Professional Referee Organization acknowledges an on-field Referee/Video Assistant Referee (VAR) error and the Committee is unanimous around a red card and one-match suspension or the MLS Disciplinary Committee shall issue a two or more match suspension on incidents in which discipline warrants at least a two-match suspension.”

Castellanos will serve the match suspension on September 29, during NYCFC’s match against Chicago Fire FC.

2. Isaac Atanga suspended for an additional match

Don Garber
Isaac Atanga suspended a second time for violent conduct / Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

FC Cincinnati forward Isaac Atanga has been suspended for one additional match - two in total - and fined for an undisclosed amount after making contact to the neck/throat of New York City FC defender Alexander Callens in the match on September 18. 

Atanga’s violent reaction occurred after he received a red card for serious foul play in the 95th minute. The player served his first match suspension on September 25 against D.C. United, and will remain sidelined against Toronto FC on September 29 to serve his second.

3. Patryk Klimala and Sean Nealis fined for simulation/embellishment

Patryk Klimala
New York Red Bulls player Patryk Klimala fined for simulation/embellishment / Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

New York Red Bulls forward Patryk Klimala and defender Sean Nealis have both been found guilty of simulation/embellishment. Klimala’s infraction occurred in the 15th minute, followed by Nealis’ in the 74th minute. 

The league defines simulation/embellishment as an attempt to deceive the referee by falsifying contact or an attempt to make contact appear more severe than actually made and/or a prolonged reaction. 

Each player has been issued an undisclosed amount for his actions.


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