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New York Red Bulls' Karl Ouimette suspended by USL for three games for punching Romeo Parkes

USL suspends Ouimette for three games, and sheds a little light on what passed between him and Romeo Parkes before THAT kick.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

If you forgot that Karl Ouimette was sent off in the New York Red Bulls II's game against Pittsburgh Riverhounds before he got clattered in the back by Romeo Parkes: it's understandable; there were other concerns.

But Ouimette was red-carded fair and square for his part in the fracas that also saw Parkes instructed to leave the field, and that subsequently saw the (former) Riverhounds forward jettison all sense and some part of his career in pursuit of exacting some revenge on the RBNY defender.

The reason Ouimette's back was turned for Parkes to kick was because he had been sent off. He was leaving the field.

And a red card carries with it an automatic suspension, so no surprise that USL's "Discipline Report" carries news of a suspension for Karl Ouimette:

Also from that match, NYRB II's Karl Ouimette was sent off and was issued a three-game suspension, which he will begin serving Saturday against the Richmond Kickers and also on May 21 and 28.

OK. So the RBNY defender is going to be unavailable to NYRB II for its next three games in USL (and the league is helpfully spelling out when those games are because, we assume, Ouimette is technically just a loanee to NYRB II, and not necessarily available for any match unless RBNY makes him so - so he's suspended for three specific games, whether he was ever intended to play in them or not). That's...wait, THREE games?

The same reports carries news of other suspensions for the same basic infraction - a red card:

Among other disciplinary notes, Bethlehem Steel FC's Walter Restrepo, Orange County Blues FC's Akwafei Ajeakwa, Saint Louis FC's Chad Bond and the Swope Park Rangers' Oumar Ballo all received one-game suspensions when they were sent off from their respective games last week and will serve their infractions this weekend.

So why three games for Ouimette?

USL responded to Once A Metro's question with a concise and clear description of its ruling, stating that the league's investigation into the matter - most notably, the account of one of the assistant referees at the game in question - had revealed that Ouimette and Parkes had been "punching each other with closed fists - Ouimette initialy and Parkes in retaliation."

The disciplinary committee had therefore ruled both players should be handed three-game suspensions for the incident that provoked their sending off. The season-long suspension handed to Parkes was exclusively based on his subsequent action: kicking Ouimette in the back after the referee had instructed both players to leave the field.

In effect, USL's suspension of Ouimette is sending a message: on-field fighting will attract more than the standard suspension. And although Parkes' season-long ban was announced first, the league is careful to explain it was applied for the subsequent assault on Ouimette, which sends another message: no matter what the provocation, you cannot kick an opponent in the back with clear intent to harm and escape quick and severe disciplinary action.