In its only action of the week, the MLS Disciplinary Committee (DisCo) suspended San Jose Earthquakes defender Víctor Bernardez for one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for misconduct toward FC Dallas forward David Texeira in last Saturday's 2-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The incident, highlighted in the video above, clearly shows Bernardez administering a hard tackle from behind on Texeira, catching the back of his leg with a full cleat. Perhaps the more egregious move came in the follow through, as the Quakes center back proceeded to run over the prone player, possibly stepping on him in the process. Referee Chris Penso, who earlier in the game had shown a straight red card to Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas, spent considerable time after the foul in conversation with Bernardez, but he did not issue a card.
Whether or not the stomp was intentional can be debated, but for the five-man DisCo, which must have unanimous approval for its rulings, it was enough to warrant a one game suspension. Bernardez has been called into the Honduras national team World Cup training camp, but he will not be released by the Earthquakes until after this weekend's MLS match against the Seattle Sounders, allowing the defender to serve his suspension prior to his departure.
Coupled with the U.S. men's national team call-up of Clarence Goodson, who joined the World Cup training camp as Stanford University yesterday, the suspension of Bernardez for this weekend's game in Seattle leaves head coach Mark Watson with a cupboard threadbare at center back. Versatile defender Ty Harden is expected to slide in at one of the vacant center back positions, but questions remain as to who might be his partner.
Jason Hernadez, a member of the Quakes since they rejoined the league in 2008 is a prime candidate, and he has returned to full training with the club, but he is coming off an injury that might not fare so well on the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field. Another option is JJ Koval, the Earthquakes first-round MLS SuperDraft selection this season, who played the position, along with Harden, in the second leg of San Jose's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie with Toluca.