MLS Playoffs: Yellow Card Rule Change
|This was brought to my attention in the play-by-play thread on Bigsoccer: Did you notice that MLS has changed its rules for playoff yellow card suspensions? I'm not sure if this was put into place this year or last year, but it definitely was not the case as of 2007. Two yellow cards in consecutive games mean a suspension. That's not the change. The change is that a player cannot be suspended for the MLS Cup for yellow cards. So if Jamison Olave, who got a yellow at Crew Stadium, gets another yellow in Chicago and RSL wins, then he would be eligible for the title game.|
If you remember, Ricardo Clark missed the 2006 MLS Cup final because of the old rule. I think the change must be new, because that link above to the MLSnet discipline page has conflicting language on the subject - look at "playoff caution accumulation" and then the 5th paragraph under "2009 MLS Cup Playoffs Guidelines." However, when you check out the 2009 Playoff Guide (PDF), it confirms the change.
Also, about last night's game: Pat Phelan came close to equalizing for the Revolution, but it shouldn't be a surprise that NE couldn't break the aggregate tie or come back once they went behind. Their attacking depth was non-existent, especially once Mauricio Castro went down. They started the game with zero forwards on the bench; the six field player subs were Igwe, Tierney, Phelan, Thompson, Castro, and Colaluca. I know Stephane Assengue is a player for the future, but surely they might've named him to the bench in case they needed a goal. It's not good to be relying on Phelan as your last ditch sub in that situation. Of course, even if the Revs had attacking depth, that doesn't mean Nicol would use it - remember Ricardo Phillips and Jose Manuel Abundis?