Yes, Hendry Thomas Should Have Been Sent Off Against LA

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I know the Rapids probably wouldn't have won if it had happened, but if I had been the referee, Hendry Thomas would have been sent off against LA.

This may hurt the ol' Burgundy Wave reputation as a team of Rapids shills, but here goes: Yes, Hendry Thomas completely deserved to get sent off against the LA Galaxy.

Richard Fleming wrote at length about Hendry Thomas' tackle-fest in his latest View From The Booth column, and seemed to imply that Thomas remaining on the field was the correct decision:

Galaxy fans took to the internet over the weekend, bemoaning the fact that Thomas was on the field in the first place to score the opening goal. They felt he should’ve been sent off for his lunging attempted tackle on Hector Jimenez in only the fourth minute. In all honesty, they may have a point, but was Thomas looking to injure the player, or get the ball? Mis-timed, or malicious? Those international men of mystery, who lurk in the shadows (aka the MLS Disciplinary Committee), may yet have their say.

I'll put it this way: Those Galaxy fans are incorrect when they say that he should have gotten straight red carded for that tackle in the fourth minute. However, the tackle was probably yellow-card worthy, and the tackle he did eventually get a yellow card for was also certainly worthy of one. If I was the referee, that's two cards, red card, early shower, and he's not there to put in that header at the end of the half either way.

Richard is absolutely right when he says that Thomas meant no malicious intent on the players he tackled, and he goes on after that to say that it's just the sort of player that Thomas is. He's correct on that as well, but it must be noted that defending that type of player whenever he gets yellow cards or reds is a tricky game.

He is the type of guy that will slide-tackle all day, and get it right quite often. When you attempt that many sliding challenges every single game though, you're bound to mis-time one here and there, or several in a game, as he did against LA. Hendry Thomas is not a dirty player, and he's not even a particularly 'physical' one, if we're using the MLS definition of physical that pound-happy guys like Steven Lenhart usually fall into. He loves to slide because he's damn good at it, and yellow cards for mis-timed challenges are part of the deal. Both of his challenges were mis-timed, and during an in-game scenario, a mis-timed slide tackle is almost always a yellow.

Do I think the MLS Disciplinary committee should suspend him for any additional games than the one that he already received for yellow accumulation? Absolutely not. Not a single tackle he made was malicious in nature, and none were from behind the play, trying to catch up by hitting the player rather than the ball, like the one that got him suspended against the Earthquakes.

Still, Hendry Thomas did, absolutely, deserve to be sent off early against LA. There will be no complaints around here, of course, that he wasn't.

(The only thing that Richard actually got wrong in his piece was the implication that Rapids fans should go back to that whiny inferiority complex they had in 2011 by singing 'No One Likes Us' again like Millwall fans.)


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