Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
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The North American Soccer League has announced the penalties for the altercations following Saturday's Minnesota-San Antonio game last Saturday. San Antonio's Kevin Harmse was suspended six games, one of the longest suspensions in league history - as much for his decision to punch Minnesota athletic trainer Tom Smith as for his groin shot on United striker Pablo Campos. Campos was also suspended one game for his retaliatory punch at Harmse, while the Scorpions' Esteban Bayona will miss two matches for his shots at Campos.
In a press release, San Antonio president and general manager Howard Cornfield accepted the Harmse suspension - but was unhappy with Bayona's. "Kevin Harmse's conduct following the game was unacceptable and the league is holding him accountable for his actions, and supplemental discipline from our organization will be forthcoming," he said in the statement. "We believe that Esteban Bayona's penalty was excessive when compared to the other disciplinary measures handed out, or in this case, not handed out, and we have vehemently expressed our unhappiness to the league office."
For his part, United president Nick Rogers was also unhappy that Campos would miss time. "We are very disappointed with the decision made by the league today,” he said in his own press release. “We believe Pablo reacted in a natural way and should not receive any disciplinary action for simply protecting himself."
Campos will miss Saturday's match home match against FC Edmonton. Harmse, however, will miss most of the rest of the season.