Major League Soccer

MLS suspends Derrick Williams for an additional 5 games

Lizzy Becherano
Jun 7, 2021, 5:15 PM GMT+1
Derrick Williams for Los Angeles Galaxy vs Los Angeles Football Club
Derrick Williams for Los Angeles Galaxy vs Los Angeles Football Club / John McCoy/Getty Images

The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee has suspended LA Galaxy player Derrick Williams an additional five games, six total, for serious play following his red card tackle on Portland Timbers player Andy Polo. The Galaxy defender has also been fined an undisclosed amount as a result of the play. 

During the match on May 22, Williams was shown a red card for the tackle that left Polo with a ruptured quadriceps muscle and a tear in the meniscus in his left knee. The LA Galaxy defender served his automatic one-game suspension on May 29th in the match against the San Jose Earthquakes, but Major League Soccer ruled that one game was not enough for the action. 

The league reviewed the play under the Disciplinary Committee Parameter No. 2, stating that officials may act upon an incident where a red card was given. The Disciplinary Committee may review the play for further punishment, over the mandatory suspension and fine. Under Parameter No.2 supplemental discipline will be administered if officials believe the offense is of “egregious” nature, and/or to protect player safety moving forward. 

As a result, the committee decided to suspend Williams for the following games: 

  • June 23 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
  • June 26 vs. San Jose Earthquakes
  • July 4 vs. Sporting Kansas City
  • July 7 vs. FC Dallas
  • June 19 vs. Seattle Sounders

The situation escalated as Williams began to receive racial abuse online due to the tackle, prompting LA Galaxy to make a statement and condemn the messages. 

"This abhorrent language and behavior have no place in our sport or in our society," the Galaxy said on May 28. "The club is working with Major League Soccer and the proper authorities to identify any and all abusers. We will take the appropriate next steps to protect Derrick and all of our players from these acts of hate."