New England Soccer Today

Shalrie Speaks on Suspension

Shalrie Joseph was suspended for Saturday's game against D.C. after the league ruled that his foul on Ricardo Villar last week "endangered the safety of his opponent." (Photo: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Shalrie Joseph was on the practice field Wednesday morning with his teammates preparing for Saturday’s conference tie with D.C. United. And that’s pretty much the extent to which he’ll be able to help his team this week: prepare.

On Tuesday, the league suspended Joseph for Saturday’s game after it deemed that his foul on Ricardo Villar in last week’s 1-0 loss at Dallas was a “reckless challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent.” Joseph was also fined an undisclosed amount.

Following Wednesday’s training session, Joseph spoke about the suspension, which he, not unsurprisingly, disagreed with.

“I don’t see how they can (deem) that a red card offense,” Joseph said. “It’s a yellow card offense, which I got. And for them to go back and review it and give me a red card (suspension), it’s just frustrating.”

Joseph also described the incident, which occurred in the 62nd minute of last Thursday’s game.

“I had a terrible touch and it got me in trouble,” Joseph said. “I didn’t even notice (Villar) on the other side of me. Once I saw that the ball was there, I was just trying to lunge for the ball to get it away from him and it was just late. It wasn’t anything from behind or anything intentional.”

Intentional or not, Villar injured his right foot on the play and had to be taken off minutes later. But Joseph claims that it wasn’t his intent to hurt the Dallas midfielder.

“I know I’m not that kind of player,” Joseph said. “I don’t try to hurt anybody or try to go after anybody and for them to suspend me is just really frustrating. It was just one of those physical plays where I was trying to reach for the ball.”

But the skipper also acknowledged that the fact Villar was injured on the play may have swayed the league to come down hard on him.

“That should have nothing to do with it,” Joseph said. “Soccer is a physical game. People are going to get hurt here and there and that’s just unfortunately how it is. For being in this league for so long, I feel like…a guy like me has been in this league for so long, for them to think that I’m such a dirty player and trying to hurt somebody, it’s kind of frustrating.”

Although Joseph acknowledges that he isn’t the only player the league has suspended retroactively this season – so far this season, four players have been issued suspensions for non-red card offenses – he believes that the league’s ability to dole out punishment after the fact could lead to players becoming distracted by the possibility of getting a call from the Disciplinary Committee after the final whistle.

“I think they opened a can of worms, to be honest,” Joseph said. “I think it’s one of those things that everyone’s going to try to be aware about and be worried about when you’re playing. And you can’t be like that (because) you’re going to be worried about your tackles and you can’t be like that as a soccer player.”

Despite his frustration with the decision, Joseph knows that there’s nothing he can do about it. What’s done is done.

“It’s something I just have to put behind me,” Joseph said. “And try to help the guys to make sure we get three points at home.”

Leave a Reply