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Braian Cufré red card overturned

Finally a little good news for NYCFC — and further proof that the refs are out to get them.

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New York City FC announced that the Braian Cufré red card shown in last Saturday’s game against New England Revolution has been rescinded. The defender will be available to play against Real Salt Lake City this coming weekend.

According to a statement issued by MLS, the red card was overturned due to a ruling issued by The Independent Review Panel. Per league rules, “each club is entitled to two unsuccessful appeals per season, including the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.” The statement goes on to say that “since NYCFC’s appeal was successful, the club maintains its two unsuccessful appeals for any future red cards in the 2023 season.”

It’s a rare piece of good news for NYCFC, who will nevertheless still be without defenders Thiago Martins (knee surgery), Maxine Chanot (yellow card accumulation), and Tayvon Gray (suspension pending an MLS investigation into allegedly abusive language) when they face RSL on Saturday.

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The red card shown to Cufré in the 90+1′ of the game looked suspect from the first replay.

Cufré and the Revolution’s DeJuan Jones went after a 50-50 ball. Cufré got to it first, and made clean contact with the ball that then ricocheted off the shin guard of Jones. Cufré strafed Jones on the follow-through, landing on his ankle — it was a clumsy challenge, but hardly a straight red. Judge for yourself — the video is cued to the key moment.

Iffy officiating

Referee Rosendo Mendoza was quick with the red card, pulling it out a split-second after contact was made. He was called to review the play on VAR, which is a sign that the VAR referees monitoring the video feed questioned his judgement. But Mendoza stuck with the call despite watching exactly the footage you can see above.

It was the latest example of NYCFC done wrong by poor officiating. (You can read all about it here.) At least, in this case, a wrong decision was corrected before it adversely effected the team.

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