Clearly the foul by Rafa Marquez against Shea Salinas is the talk of MLS. Certainly the Red Bulls MF is facing a potential suspension, especially considering the injury to the San Jose player. But there's been a great deal of hyperbole about this play, and I've had about enough of it.
So I've seen this described as a rugby tackle , as an NFL style tackle etc. I say BS. Even allowing for hyperbole, most of these commentators clearly haven't paid enough attention to the old oval ball of late. So out of respect for football's other codes, lets set things straight:
you can't really see the feet in the shot, but the way it looks to me is that Salinas was going to ground to try to draw the foul - as he and his teammates were doing the entire game - and his feet got tangled up with Marquez.
Marquez certainly didn't shy away, and the extra kick at the end is inexcusable, but to read it you'd think Marquez had grabbed him around the waist and thrown him to the ground, and then stomped him for good measure. Yes, he rode him to the ground, but what you see in all the real tackles is leg drive, high impact, heavy upper body engagement, etc.
There was plenty of back and forth in this game, before and after this incident. Salinas certainly got Marquez to cross the line, and he should've earned a red card and penalty for that kick, but the reaction on the internets makes it sound like he jumped Mother Theresa and stole her purse.
The Ref missed a lot this game, including the fact that San Jose was diving like Greg Louganis, which is equally against the rules. And although Salinas was injured, and Marquez will pay for that, you can't point to that incident and say it decided this game (especially since it ended in a draw. ) But SJ has already won at least one game this year by blatant diving.
I started this post a few days ago, and wrote everything above before I saw this story on MLSSoccer.com this morning.
And the fact that its only three games lends some credence to my interpretations. (ill concede that the league office referred to it as a tackle.)
I don't defend Marquez' actions, but would even he lose his head enough to haul off and tackle and guy?
3 games seems about right to me...