Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins will be free to play against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday after an independent review panel Wednesday rescinded a red card issued against him in the game last weekend at Chivas USA.
Martins and Chivas’ Gabriel Farfan had bumped, and Martins’ foot seemed to hit Farfan’s head as they fell. Referee Roberto Salazar showed Martins the red card, which resulted in his banishment from the match, a fine and an additional one-game suspension.
The fine and suspension were wiped away by a review panel consisting of one representative from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association, and Professional Referees Organization.
“We’re happy that the process works,” coach Sigi Schmid said.
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In other personnel news, Schmid confirmed that midfielder Steve Zakuani will undergo surgery soon to repair what is thought to be a sports hernia. The procedure is expected to be followed by six to eight weeks of rehabilitation.
“It’s been tough,” Schmid said. “ He’s had to deal with numerous things in his career and it’s another thing he has to deal with.”
Schmid also said midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (thigh) will not be ready to face the Whitecaps, but he could be available for the following game, June 22 at Real Salt Lake.