Steve Cherundolo Fined by MLS for Criticizing Game Conditions

LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo has been fined $10,000 by Major League Soccer for his comments regarding the playing conditions during last weekend’s game against Real Salt Lake. The league’s decision was announced on Wednesday, citing Cherundolo’s remarks after the team’s 3-0 loss in Utah as a violation of the league’s public criticism policy.

MLS referenced a provision in its 2024 competition manual which defines “public criticism” as behavior that is detrimental to the public image and reputation of MLS and/or the club. Any such conduct is subject to discipline by the commissioner or his designee. Cherundolo’s statements regarding the game played in the midst of snow and lightning were deemed to be in contravention of this policy.

The match in Sandy, Utah experienced a delayed start of about two hours due to adverse weather, and later had to be stopped within just over three minutes of play due to lightning. Cherundolo expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision to continue playing, calling it “impossible conditions” and one of the worst professional sporting events he had witnessed. He expressed concern for the safety of the players and believed the game should have been called off much earlier.

At 45 years old, Cherundolo is currently in his third season as the coach of LAFC, having guided the team to the MLS title in 2022. Prior to his coaching role, he enjoyed a successful career as a defender, playing for Germany’s Hannover from 1998 to 2014. He also represented the United States in international competition, making 87 appearances and playing in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. LAFC is set to face Sporting Kansas City at BMO Stadium this weekend.

While Steve Cherundolo’s passion for the safety and well-being of his players is commendable, his public criticism of the game conditions has resulted in a significant fine from MLS. As a seasoned professional in the soccer world, it is important for Cherundolo to carefully consider his words and actions in order to uphold the standards of the league and the club he represents.


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