The Los Angeles Galaxy might be without center defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong for some time, possibly until May if the Major League Soccer (MLS) Disciplinary Committee three games suspension plan goes through.
According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Disciplinary Committee has come to an agreement of punishing the World Cup veteran by forcing him to miss the next three games for the LA Galaxy. However, this has not been made official yet. The news is set to be announced to the public on Friday morning.
Why De Jong is receiving a suspension
This punishment for De Jong is coming to him due to the tackle he committed against U.S. international and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe on Sunday at the StubHub Center. De Jong challenged Nagbe for the ball, but the Dutch international went in for the tackle with his studs and stomped on the creative midfielder’s ankle.
Referee Is Being Demoted
The referee Allen Chapman gave De Jong a yellow card when the tackle deserved a direct red card. Chapman’s failure to give the Dutch man his marching order on Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Timbers have come back to bite him.
According to Goff, Professional Referee Organization (PRO) has removed Chapman from the officiating crew of the Real Salt Lake and Vancouver Whitecaps match up on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. Instead they have placed him in the United Soccer League (USL) for this weekend. He will be in charge of the San Antonio FC and Orange County Blues FC game on Saturday at Anteater Stadium.
The Galaxy's Season Just Keeps Getting Better
For the Galaxy the 2016 season had just got that much tougher for them. They currently have an injury list of six players. Four of those players are starter for the Five Time MLS Cup Champions. That list includes: Dan Kennedy, captain Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Jeff Larentowicz, Leonardo and Robbie Rogers. Now De Jong will be out of action for LA’s head coach and general manager Bruce Arena, the bigger issues is who will replace him?
If the suspension goes through then the Dutch international will not be back in action until Los Angeles host the New England Revolution on Sunday May eighth. In the meantime he will miss this Friday’s match against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Then he will miss the home match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, April 23rd. RSL is currently the only undefeated team left in MLS. The final match of his suspension will be a road trip to Children’s Mercy Park against second place of the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May first.
The Galaxy currently seat in sixth place in the West with eight points in five matches. LA has not begun the season on fire. However, in the first five matches the one player that had been performing well was De Jong. His presence in the midfield has helped relieve the pressure to their defense. Plus the World Cup veteran has also played an important role in the Galaxy offense. Arena will most likely have to start getting creative to find a way to get results without his rock in the midfield.