On Tuesday, the MLS Disciplinary Committee announced a fine of an undisclosed amount for Columbus Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez for embellishment in the 92nd minute of the Sunday match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The replay showed Gonzalez collide with Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski off the ball at the top of the penalty area. Wondolowski, not happy with the take down from behind by Gonzalez, came up screaming at the officials and then confronted the center back. After the slightest of contact to the chest, the Costa Rican defender dropped to the field, which resulted in the suspension for simulation.
Simulation, embellishment, diving - whatever name you chose to use - has become an unfortunate part of the game of soccer in recent years. Leagues across the world have attempted to eliminate the hoodwinking of referees by making stiffer penalties, but the practice continues around the globe.
In the case of Gonzalez, it is clear that Wondolowski makes contact with his chest, but not nearly enough to send him collapsing to the earth, especially after a full second elapses following the touch.
Gonzalez is a new player to the club and the league and Crew fans will hope this is a one-time incident. The league did its due diligence in issuing a fine to a player who has done little wrong in his first four games in MLS.
In this situation, there was not enough to warrant a suspension for a first-time offense, but if this becomes a pattern for Gonzalez, the league will likely take further action.