San Antonio FC‘s starting goalkeeper Josh Ford is suspended for three matches for his involvement in a scuffle in the box against Oklahoma City Energy FC midfielder Michael Thomas on Saturday night.
Ford received a straight red card in the match and was originally suspended for four matches by the United Soccer League (USL) on Tuesday afternoon. He appealed, and on Wednesday his punishment was reduced to a three match suspension.
A straight red card typically warrants a one match ban for the recipient, but incidents of violent conduct – like the one Ford was dismissed for – merit multiple match bans.
Unlike Ford, Thomas received no further sanction than the mandatory one week suspension. San Antonio FC appealed the decision in an effort to reduce Ford’s suspension, which was granted one day later.
Ford will now be able to play in the match against Sacramento Republic in California on August 6, but will miss three season-defining matches that take place in July.
San Antonio will play against two of the top three teams in the Western Conference, starting on Saturday, July 16, when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, the current conference leader, at Toyota Field before hosting third placed LA Galaxy II on Saturday, July 23. The third match will be against Swope Park Rangers in Kansas City on July 30.
The matches will likely be more difficult without Ford, who has only allowed one goal or less in 14 of his 15 matches and has made 43 saves. Ford’s replacement, Matt Cardone – who has only played one full match and the remainder of Saturday’s match – has conceded three goals and made three saves.
“Every week we all train like we are going to play, we know the game plan, so I’ll be ready,” Cardone said. “(Ford and I) always push each other every week and we take it week by week. It’s about winning the games.”
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s match against Vancouver, and can be purchased here.
Top image: San Antonio FC goalkeeper Josh Ford (1) defends in the first half against Switchbacks FC at Switchbacks Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing for Switchbacks FC.
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