Because the Vancouver Whitecaps haven't got enough problems, Major League Soccer has suspended midfielder Gershon Koffie for Saturday's match against the Portland Timbers. MLS posted the video long before the suspension was announced, as Koffie got his foot up trying to reach a ball that was headed away by midfielder Andy Rose and wound up hitting Rose (by all appearances accidentally) with a glancing in the chest off the side of his boot as their courses came together.
This marks the second straight game MLS has suspended a key Whitecaps midfielder before a major derby match on the road. It is also the second straight time that a Whitecaps player has received a suspension for an offense that was a yellow card on the field; a useful piece of evidence you can use next time somebody tries to defend the refereeing at Whitecaps games.
Probably the bigger problem for Koffie is that he clearly extends his middle finger either to a Sounders player chirping him or to the back of referee Silviu Petrescu (who deserves a middle finger if anybody does). And, of course, the biggest problem was that this was a game against one of MLS's marquee teams before 55,718 fans at Qwest Field and two national television audiences.
There are a lot of question marks around this suspension. The kick looked accidental and it was a glancing blow: you can actually see Koffie's spikes on the replay as the side of his foot rebounds off Rose's chest. It's anybody's guess who the middle finger was intended for; it's the sort of gesture that seems worth punishment but since Koffie was fined as well that was presumably taken care of.
But the fact of the matter is that, if you're doing it in Seattle against the Sounders before such an audience, and like Koffie you have a bit of a reputation, you're not going to get the benefit of the doubt.