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Chicago Fire to appeal Francisco Calvo’s red card

If successful, the appeal would allow the Fire’s captain to play Saturday against Nashville SC

MLS: Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire defender Francisco Calvo (5) receives a red card during the first half of a game against the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Fire will file an appeal today, hoping to overturn the red card issued to Francisco Calvo during Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union. If the move is successful, Calvo will be allowed to play Saturday against Nashville SC. If it fails, he’ll remain suspended for the match.

In the 36th minute of last night’s match, Calvo stepped on the back of Alejandro Bedoya’s foot while both players were running for the ball. Referee Guido Gonzales, who was in a good position to see the infraction, immediately awarded Calvo a straight red card for violent conduct, and opted to not use VAR to give the foul a second look.

Here’s how the process will work: the Fire will have to formally file the appeal sometime today. A panel of three people—a member of U.S. Soccer, a member of the Canadian Soccer Association, and a member of PRO will review the appeal.

The committee will consider two factors: 1.) Did the referee correctly identify the offense in accordance with the Laws of the Game? and, 2.) Is the disciplinary sanction applied appropriate for the offense?

If the answers to questions 1 and/or 2 are yes, then the appeal is unsuccessful. The answers to both questions must be no for the Fire to have the red card overturned, according to the MLS Send-Off Review Procedure.

There’s a chance this could backfire. The committee could also determine that the Fire’s appeal is frivolous, which would mean Calvo’s suspension would be doubled.

There’s no question Calvo’s cleats stepped on the back of Bedoya’s ankle. The committee will have to decide whether it warranted a red card, or just a yellow.