For one of the precious few matches the Rapids will have on national television this year, Sunday at 2pm MST on ESPN2, Colorado won't have their marquee attacking player Shkelzen Gashi on the field.
The newly imported scorer from FC Basel was handed a one-game suspension by MLS' discipline committee for running onto the field to celebrate Marco Pappa's 90+ minute game winner in the home opener against the LA Galaxy last Saturday.
Reactions on twitter mostly considered the MLS ban to be excessive.
But Gashi got suspended a game for "entering the field of play" because he ran on to celebrate a winning goal in stoppage time. Ok then.— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) March 18, 2016
Isn't DC and Colorado on national TV this week? Time for @thesoccerdon to pull rank and reverse the Gashi suspension.— Kevin Kinkead (@KevinKCBS3) March 17, 2016
Gashi's ban came because he cut across the field while running from the bench to the goal celebration. Fine? Sure. Suspension? Overreaction.— Thomas Floyd (@thomasfloyd10) March 17, 2016
On the other hand, there's this:
People complaining about the Gashi suspension, this isn't new for MLS Mateus Manoel was suspended last year for it https://t.co/2wdOWvOywf— Mike Kuhn (@downthebyline) March 17, 2016
And here's the Denver Post's incriminating photo of Gashi doing the deed.
It's certainly a bummer for Rapids fans, and MLS fans everywhere that wanted to see if the left-footed Albanian with an Axpo Super League Golden Boot on his shelf could open his MLS account in the
decrepit raccoon preserve quaint and historic RFK Stadium.
Is the punishment fair? Or is it idiotic? Can the Rapids replace Gashi and generate the needed offense that has been hard to muster so far?