Last Tuesday evening the New York Red Bulls defeated the Charleston Battery (USL-D3) 3-0 in a US Open Cup 3rd round match. Included in the Red Bulls roster was Tyler Ruthven. The problem was Ruthven should have been serving a one-game USOC suspension according the 2012 Handbook. The Red Bulls defender had received a red card while playing for the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL2-D3) in a 2010 4th round USOC match. The Islanders lost that game 2-0 to DC United and therefore did not play another USOC match that year.
Ruthven played for the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL-D2) in 2011 and did not compete in a USOC match since the fledgling league was not allowed to participate. Ruthven moved to the Red Bulls this spring and last Tuesday’s match would have been his first opportunity to sit out his suspension.
IMS was informed of the violation last Wednesday after the 3rd round matches of the US Open Cup. The Charleston Battery are said to have filed the complaint with the USOC.
The USOC Handbook, Section 203-E Player Eligibility states, “If any team plays an ineligible player in an Open Cup match, that team is subject to fines or other penalties, including game forfeiture, as determined by the Adjudication and Discipline Panel.”
U.S. Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe told IMS on Friday evening that a decision had been made concerning Ruthven and the USOC Adjudication and Discipline Panel fined the Red Bulls $500.00 and ruled that Ruthven will serve his one-game suspension in the next Red Bulls Open Cup game. Buethe said he knew of no precedent for the decision but the fact that Ruthven did not play and therefore did not factor into the outcome of the match was considered in making the final decision.
The Adjudication and Discipline Panel is made of Todd Durbin and Tim Holt who are both Co-Chairs and non-voting members. Also serving on the committee: Tom King (US Soccer – Panel Liaison and USOC Commissioner), Paul Marstaller (US Soccer – Panel Liaison and USOC Competition Secretary), Alfonso Mondelo (MLS – D1 Representative), Rishi Sehgal (NASL – D2 Rep.), David Wagner (USL – D3 Rep.), Jim Sadowski (Adult Council Rep.) and Chris Armas (Player Rep.).
A quick check of suspended players from the US Open Cup 2012 Handbook found a number of players who were listed as suspended but suited up or played for their teams.
Wells Thompson, who was listed as suspended, not only was rostered for the Colorado Rapids but played the full 90 minutes in their 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. An offense of this sort usually leads to a forfeit of the match by the club that violated the rules. Buethe responded that Thompson was incorrectly listed on the suspension list in the handbook and stated that the Rapids player had already served his suspension with the Revolution in 2009, sitting out their third round match.
According to Buethe there were a number of other players listed incorrectly in the 2012 US Open Cup Handbook as being suspended for previous red card violations. Also incorrectly listed: Felix Alfonso Motagalvan (Fort Lauderdale Strikers), Danny Earls (Rochester Rhinos) and Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes).
Buethe called the mistakes “clerical errors” and said all the affected teams were informed of those mistakes.
Edited 6-4-12 1:30 p.m.
Previous statements that sources were quoted as saying the Harrisburg City Islanders, who won their 3rd round match last Tuesday against the New England Revolution and will have to face the Red Bulls in the 4th round, had filed the complaint were incorrect.