ALEX KURIAL - Monday, May 20, 2013
Whitecaps defender Johnny Leveron will see his run of starts come to an end on Saturday, as he has been suspended for one game by the MLS disciplinary committee.
The decision comes at a time when Leveron was starting to establish a role for himself in the Whitecaps lineup. After spending the beginning of the season with the reserves due to questions over his fitness, Leveron had started in five of the last six games for Vancouver, including the last four. Most recently Leveron put in a 90 minute clean sheet effort on Wednesday against the Montreal Impact.
The suspension is the result of a tackle just three minutes into Vancouver's game against the LA Galaxy on Saturday. After losing the ball to Galaxy midfielder Jose Villarreal, Leveron responded with a hard low challenge on his opponent that left Villarreal down for several moments. Leveron was shown a yellow card for his actions, while Villarreal was able to return to action and play the rest of the game.
After assessing the foul however, the MLS determined that the tackle should have resulted in a red card, and handed down their punishment against Leveron. The Honduran will sit out Saturday's game against the Portland Timbers, and be eligible to return May 29th when Vancouver takes on the Montreal Impact in the deciding game of the Canadian Championship.
The decision likely means that Brad Rusin will return to a starting defensive position on Saturday, after appearing in midfield for Vancouver against Montreal on Wednesday.