ATLANTA, GEORGIA –Atlanta United FC will miss one of its key players when they face the New York City on October 20 Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Argentine mercurial playmaker Ezequiel Barco will not play in the New York City game since the Major League Soccer has upheld its earlier decision to suspend him for the red card violation he committed in the game against the Toronto FC at the BMO Field last October 16.
The Independent Review Panel, consisting of one representative from the U.S. Soccer Federation, one representative from the Canadian Soccer Association, and one independent representative nominated by the Professional Referee Organization, has denied United FC’s appeal of the red card issued to Barco since guilty of failure to leave the field in a timely and orderly manner in the 83rd minute of Atlanta’s match against Toronto on Oct. 16.
Aside from Barco, the MLS Disciplinary Committee has found both Atlanta United and Toronto FC in violation of the Mass Confrontation Policy during the 85th minute of the teams’ match on Oct. 16.
United FC has been fined an undisclosed amount for the club’s second violation of the league’s policy this season. Toronto FC has been issued a warning for the club’s first violation of the league’s policy this season.
Due to their role in the mass confrontation, Toronto FC defender Richie Laryea and Atlanta United assistant coach Rob Valentino each have been fined an undisclosed amount for their actions in inciting and/or escalating a mass confrontation.
While the October 16 game is controversial it is a good game for United FC since they beat Toronto on the road 2-0.
The much-needed victory allowed United FC to get 42 on the season, enough to lift the club above the playoff line into fifth place in the Eastern Conference at the time the match ended.
The loss is also huge for Toronto since it ended their playoff dream.
Striker Luiz Arújo provided the first goal for the team before the first half ended.
Marcelino Moreno provided the other goal for United FC in the 97th minute.
United FC coach Gonzalo Pineda is very happy with their bounced back win, after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Major League Soccer Eastern Conference rival CF Montreal at Stade Saputo on October 3.
This was the second of three meetings between Atlanta and Toronto during the regular season.
Atlanta won the first meeting 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 18. The teams meet again in two weeks at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Oct. 30.

By bob

A veteran soccer journalist who is an avid fan of Atlanta United and Lionel Messi.

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