VERDICT'S IN: NOWAK SUSPENDED
But here's the kicker: He'll miss the next match, too.
It took five days, but Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee finally ruled on Nowak, who stepped out of the coach's box and onto the pitch last Saturday --- a league-wide no-no --- while breaking up a scrum during the Union's 1-0 win at Chivas USA. Nowak was sent off in the 86th minute and, until 6 p.m. today, had awaited what he termed "a verdict" from MLS.
The verdict is in, and the Union will be without their coach Saturday against the Western Conference-leading Earthquakes. He also will be forced to take in next weekend's match at Seattle from a club-level suite, rather than on the sideline.
Additionally, the Union were hit with a $5,000 fine, while Chivas USA incurred a $2,500 fine.
Wednesday, players and coaches alike made it sound as though losing Nowak for one match won't be that big of a deal.
Said assistant coach Rob Vartughian: “Nothing changes. We’ve all been around each other for a number of years. Our preparation for this game will be no different than how we’ve approached anything else. Do you have a voice on the sideline with Peter? No, you don’t. But at the point the game starts, it’s up to the players. There are certain things you can do to adjust, and we’ll have to do those. It’s not like Peter’s not here this week. He’s still very much the voice.”
(Times staff photo / ERIC HARTLINE)