Major League Soccer’s Independent Review Panel has voted to rescind the fine and one-game suspension that Ethan Finlay received after being issued a red card in the 60th minute of the Columbus Crew’s 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution on Sunday.
The play in question, embedded above, involved Finlay’s leg colliding with Bobby Shuttleworth’s head. Both players were traveling at full pace to try to win the ball. Shuttleworth spent an extended period on the turf collecting himself while referee Armando Villareal eventually issued a straight red to Finlay.
The card irked Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter, who believed that the Revolution players were being overly dramatic throughout the night.
"We all know Ethan Finlay … and he is not an ill-natured type of person," Berhalter said to the media. "He competes hard but is never, ever dirty. That's not his game. So in my mind, it's a harsh red card, and there was no intent to injure the goalkeeper."
Shuttleworth, who stated that he wasn’t knocked unconscious, also spoke about the play after the game.
"I don’t think he meant to do it," Shuttleworth remarked. "He came up to me after and he was apologizing several times. I don’t have any problem with what he was trying to do. I think he was trying to go for the ball, and I don’t think there was any intent there at all."
Finlay will now be available for the Crew’s first game of the 2015 season.