Press Conference / Union

Haris Medunjanin suspended two additional matches

Photo: Earl Gardner

With reporting by Peter Andrews

Haris Medunjanin will have to wait a little bit longer than his teammates to return to MLS action.

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin announced during his weekly press conference at Talen Energy Stadium that the Bosnian midfielder will be suspended an additional two league matches.

The suspension stems from a red card Medunjanin received in the match against Atlanta United. After Alejandro Bedoya’s dismissal early in the match for a second yellow card, Medunjanin erupted at referee Sorin Stoica, requiring his teammates to restrain him and earning two yellow cards in quick succession.

Medunjanin already missed the Union’s 2-0 defeat to Toronto FC as the standard one-game red card suspension. The extended suspension means that Medunjanin will be in street clothes for this Saturday’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps, as well as next week’s cross-country matchup with Los Angeles FC.

The Union’s manager was less than thrilled with the length of the suspension. “I don’t agree with it,” he said, citing Medunjanin’s reputation for fair play. “It’s Haris’s first red card, I think, in his career. But we have to live with the decision.”

Curtin indicated that the delay in announcing the suspension resulted from an appeal by the players’ association — an appeal that was, ultimately, unsuccessful.

The hole next to Alejandro Bedoya in the Union’s midfield is set to be filled by veteran Warren Creavalle, who played as both a substitute in the Atlanta match and as a starter against Toronto FC.

“Warren has done a good job in the minutes he’s played for us. I think he did a very good job [in the Toronto match] without Bedoya covering for him,” said Curtin.

Curtin indicated that out-of-favor midfielder Derrick Jones would also be available off the bench, likely as a late-game defensive option.

With matches against two in-form Western Conference teams upcoming, it remains to be seen what price the Union will ultimately pay for the Bosnian’s outburst.

11 Comments

  1. don’t agree with the severity. He’s not Clint Dempsey and had a stellar record to that point.

  2. HARISment says:

    Three games for verbal dissent?! Way too severe, FREE Medunjanin!!

    … I mean his poster in the stadium has the caption “the gentleman”.

  3. That’s BS. The DC needs to be brought under control. This punishes the rest of the team and the fans as much as it does Haris. If the intent is to punish and send a message to the player, then add a fine that is a percent of a player’s salary (beyond the standard red card consequences). MLS needs to fix the out of control DC or risk losing credibility on the world stage.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    A fucking travesty.
    .
    He didn’t cleat someone.
    .
    He didn’t cheat the game.
    .

  5. this might rub some people the wrong way, but my theory on this is that it stems from the fact that sorin stoica is an ex cop. like it or not a lot of cops have an authoritarian personality and the worst thing you can do is challenge, question, or ‘disrespect’ them. not submitting completely is an offense in itself so he went out of his way to make sure the league gave haris a longer suspension

  6. HE DID BUMP THE REFEREE. CANT’T DO THAT. DESERVED FOR LOSING HIS HEAD. SHIT HAPPENS. GREAT TEAMS/MANAGERS OVERCOME SUSPENSIONS..

  7. This is truly ridiculous. The punishment should’ve been mitigated by the fact that Stoica did such an absolutely wretched job officiating that match that Haris had some justification for his outrage. I could see maybe one extra game. Two is way too harsh.

  8. I agree that the suspension is excessive. But I will confess to being very interested in how the team performs with the faster and more defensive-minded Creavalle in his place.

  9. I think the punishment is over the top too.
    That said, I’m actually inspired by his and Bedoya’s reaction and intensity. I think, longer term this might be good for the younger guys to see. Wake them up.
    I’m not saying red cards are great and every player should get some. I’m saying the Union as a team has looked half interested more often than not in Curtin’s tenure. Sure there’s been guys who’ve shown spirit, but I’m hoping this is a sign the whole team might start playing consistently inspired.

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