Seattle Sounders striker Eddie Johnson was toeing a fine line in Saturday’s match against the Portland Timbers. If Johnson received a yellow card, then he would be suspended from the Sounders’ big Supporters Shield showdown against the San Jose Earthquakes next weekend. The MLS franchise’s most prolific single season scorer would not be available for the top of the Western Conference clash.
And much to the chagrin of the rave green and blue supporters, Johnson was shown yellow for a hard challenge on Portland midfielder Diego Chara. The 26th minute caution came after a series of physical challenges by both sides defined much of the opening stanza of the match, but Johnson was the first player from either side to enter the referee’s book. Due to the MLS rules on caution accumulation, Johnson, who now has five yellow cards on the season, will automatically have to sit out Saturday’s match against the Earthquakes.
Fellow striker Fredy Montero also entered the match against the Timbers with a chance of being suspended for yellow card accumulation, but the Colombian escaping a booking by referee Ricardo Salazar. Montero had given the lead to the Sounders with a fantastic turn-and-shoot attempt from a long ball from goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Portland equalized later in the second half, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
On the Earthquakes side of the discipline report, both defender Victor Bernardez and midfielder Rafael Baca entered Saturday's match at Chivas one yellow card from a suspension. Bernardez had one card removed from his accumulation list due to good behavior -- he did not earn a yellow card in his past three appearances -- but Baca remains in suspension danger during the Earthquakes midweek contest against the Timbers.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle sits five points behind the Earthquakes in the standings, and will almost certainly need a win against San Jose if they hope to catch San Jose at the top of the West. However, they will have to do it without Johnson, as Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid will have to formulate a new attacking line-up to face the Earthquakes.
Watch video of the incident after the break...Video highlight of Johnson's dangerous tackle on Chara: