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MLS won't suspend Portland's Chara, Guzman for diving vs. Galaxy

The pair's actions resulted in the sending off of the LA Galaxy's Jelle Van Damme in Portland's 1-0 victory.

Portland Timbers players David Guzmán and Diego Chará will avoid any suspensions by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for their controversial falls to the ground against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, has learned.

The committee’s toughest decision, according to MLS vice president for competition Jeff Agoos, was on Guzmán, whose fall to the ground resulted in LA’s Jelle van Damme being sent off for a second yellow card.

“On Guzmán, the decision ultimately is that the committee was not unanimous to act on the play in terms of simulation/embellishment,” Agoos told late Wednesday afternoon. “That was what the play was originally tagged for. What I’ll say is that it was a very difficult decision, a challenging decision based on a lot of nuances. The five-member committee—three former players, a former coach and a former referee who have all been in MLS—was split to determine whether the player dove or whether he was looking to avoid contact with the LA defender Van Damme coming in.”

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Chará, meanwhile, will be fined for simulation but not suspended.

“The committee found that they were unanimous that it was simulation [by Chará],” Agoos said. “That will be a fine rather than a suspension. The reason it’s bifurcated is the material impact on the match. So on a player like Guzmán, there’s a material impact on the match, because it resulted in a second yellow card. The parameters for a suspension are if the simulation or embellishment winds up in a second yellow card, a red card, the awarding of a penalty kick or the triggering of a player’s yellow card accumulation suspension total, those are suspensions rather than fines. Everything else would be a fine.”

Portland will host fellow 2-0 starters Houston on Saturday.