Riley’s red card – what happened?

Many wondered why James Riley was given the red card after the match in Columbus

James Riley Columbus Crew

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Chivas USA returned to practice this morning ahead of Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center.

The return was also our first chance to find out the story behind the big question: Why was defender James Riley given a red card after the match against Columbus Crew last Wednesday? Here’s his side of the story:

“The referee [Jorge Gonzalez] and I had pretty good dialogue throughout the game; I think he’s a good referee. I felt that he wasn’t protecting our players the way that they should’ve been and I let him know that after the match. I didn’t say anything threatening; I didn’t walk towards him. Words were exchanged between him and I; by the time I was about 25 yards away, I turned and walked off the field, then he decided to sprint over and give me a red card. [Assistant Coach] Vanney and [goalkeeper] Kennedy went over to talk to him directly after and asked why it was a red, and [the referee] responded that it was personal. We were trying to fight it [the red card]; we got the union involved, we called the league offices and we decided to pull back late Friday because we thought it wasn’t going to happen.”

Upon completing his one-game suspension last Sunday, Riley will be eligible for selection in this Saturday’s match against RSL.

“It’s done, it’s over with. I’ll continue to move on. Now our main focus is to get wins in these next five games.”