The Portland Timbers announced today that Michael Harrington will be available to play in this weekend's match against the Seattle Sounders after his red card from last Saturday's match against FC Dallas was overturned by an independent panel of reviewers.
The Timbers appealed to the MLS Diciplinary Committee in conjunction with Dallas on Sunday after reviewing the panoramic footage from the match. Harrington and Dallas's Je-Vaughn Watson were both issued red cards after an off-broadcast incident in which the two players were allegedly fighting and the assistant referee, George Gansner, flagged for the the head ref, Sorin Stoica.
Watson's red card was overturned as well. A suspension for "violent conduct" would have carried an automatic two game suspension under the current MLS guidelines.
The Timbers' will have Hilario Grajeda as their head referee this week. Grajeda has refereed 99 regular season games in MLS, awarding 330 yellow cards, 12 red cards, and 12 penalties. Stoica has issued five red cards in nineteen regular season games refereed in MLS.
The Timbers' press release:
Independent Review Panel Rescinds Red Cards Issued to Portland Timbers’ Harrington and FC Dallas’ Watson
Both players eligible for this weekend’s games
NEW YORK (April 3, 2014) – An independent review panel has rescinded the fine and one-game suspension for the red cards issued for violent conduct to Portland Timbers defender Michael Harrington and FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson in the 40th minute of the March 29 game (VIDEO). The Timbers and FC Dallas jointly submitted an appeal for review of the play. The appeal was unanimously upheld by the independent review panel.
The independent panel consists of one representative from the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association, and Professional Referees Organization (PRO). For more on the red card review process, CLICK HERE.