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Nicolas Lodeiro lucky he wasn’t suspended extra games

MLS Disciplinary Committee judges no further punishment necessary for kickout.

MLS: D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Nicolas Lodeiro will not be suspended any additional games for his kick out on Marcelo Sarvas late in the Seattle Sounders’ come-from-behind win over D.C. United on Wednesday. He was very lucky.

In case you needed a reminder, this was the play that got Lodeiro sent off.

Sarvas clearly instigates the situation, pushing Lodeiro down and then kicking the ball into him. That he wasn’t shown a second yellow card is frustrating and frankly inexcusable.

But Lodeiro’s kick out is even more inexcusable. Yes, he’s frustrated. Yes, his frustration is justified. Head coach Brian Schmetzer even defended Lodeiro to some degree, suggesting his Designated Player wasn’t “protected enough.” Schmetzer also said Lodeiro felt bad for letting his teammates down, who not only had to play the final few minutes a man down but now face a virtual must-win game without their most important offensive player.

That’s all fine and good, but Lodeiro still must know better. He still must act better. This is also starting to look like a little bit of a pattern.

Although this was Lodeiro’s first straight red — and his first for anything that could be considered violent — it is the second time he’ll be forced to sit out for card-related offenses. Last year, he was suspended for yellow-card accumulation with the fifth yellow coming when he needlessly interfered with a free kick. He had also picked up a yellow for kicking a ball away.

The concern here is that Lodeiro, for all his attributes, is starting to show a penchant for picking up ill-advised cards. He’s now received seven yellows and a red in 33 appearances, a rate of about .24 per game. Osvaldo Alonso, arguably the most physical player on the team, has picked up cards at a rate of about .22 per game.

Lodeiro is a team leader. His play exemplifies this. United had clearly targeted him, and the final foul was particularly egregious. But he has to stop putting his team in tough positions.

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