USSF suspends RailHawks' Rennie and Ritchie | Sports

USSF suspends RailHawks' Rennie and Ritchie

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Discerning webcast viewers of the Carolina Railhawks-Puerto Rico Islanders match last Sunday may have noticed that Carolina manager Martin Rennie was missing from the RailHawks’ technical area. Today, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) officially confirmed the reason behind Rennie’s absence.

According to Phillip Faniola, Communications Coordinator for USSF, the Federation has suspended Rennie for two games as a result of conduct and comments following the RailHawks’ June 26 draw with the Montreal Impact at WakeMed Soccer Park. In addition, assistant coach Paul Ritchie received a one-game suspension, RailHawks’ president Brian Wellman’s field access was suspended for two games, and the club itself has been fined an undisclosed sum.

Near the end of the Carolina-Montreal match, referee Jamey Walter awarded the Impact a handball penalty kick that the RailHawks contend was called well beyond the allotted three minutes of full-game stoppage time. After the match, Rennie, Ritchie and Wellman confronted Walter on the field about his decision.

Faniola said that USSF notified the RailHawks last week about the proposed disciplinary measures. The RailHawks appealed the initial determination, but yesterday the Federation upheld the sanctions.

The RailHawks confirm that Rennie traveled with the team to Puerto Rico. However, Faniola says Rennie voluntarily chose to sit out the Islanders match while Carolina appealed USSF’s decision. Presumably, this was so Rennie and Ritchie could complete their suspensions as soon as possible and prior to the end of the club’s current four-game road trip. Having already missed one match, Rennie will complete his suspension during tonight’s match at, ironically, Montreal. Ritchie will serve his one-game suspension Saturday night at Rochester.

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