Los Angeles Soccer: Abiodun Okulaja
Galaxy midfielder Jovan Kirovski's suspension grew longer and fine a little deeper after Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee decided his red-card sanction following last weekend's draw at D.C. United wasn't sufficient.
Kirovski's punishment was doubled Friday to two games -- he served the first in Wednesday's draw at Toronto FC and also will miss Sunday's game at Chicago -- and his fine increased from $250 to $1,000.
The veteran was red-carded for verbal abuse after confronting referee Abiodun Okulaja after last Saturday's 1-1 tie in Washington. Okulaja gifted D.C. the tying goal in the 90th minute, awarding a Charlie Davies dive with a penalty kick.
Central-midfield tandem David Beckham and Juninho also are suspended for Sunday's game. Beckham received his fifth yellow card of the season in the 0-0 draw at Toronto, picking up a one-game ban, and Juninho was sent off with a second yellow card in stoppage.
Landon Donovan is doubtful with a knee injury. He didn't travel to Washington and Toronto, and the Galaxy hadn't decided as of Friday morning whether to bring him to Chicago.
The Galaxy was done quite the injustice Saturday night in Washington, a slender victory in a tense, testy contest with D.C. United wrested away on a 90th-minute penalty kick that never should have been awarded.
Referee Abiodun Okulaja was fooled when Charlie Davies sprawled under the least contact from Omar Gonzalez -- a hand to the hip, nothing more -- and Davis forged a 1-1 draw, netting his Major League Soccer-best fourth goal with a little chip down the middle as L.A. goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts dived to his right.
It serves as something of consolation to D.C. (1-2-1), which lost two weeks ago in New England after two poor calls went the other way.
Jovan Kirovski, a late substitute for L.A., was red-carded after approaching Okulaja after the final whistle to give him an earful on, we're pretty certain, the game's defining play.
Mike Magee scored the goal for the Galaxy (2-1-2), heading home Beckham's 12th-minute penalty kick, after stepping in for Landon Donovan, who did not travel to Washington because of a bruised knee that the team kept hidden until the lineups were issued 90 minutes before game time.
A quick look at the Galaxy's draw:
BEST PLAYER: L.A. stood to win because of Ricketts, who made two big second-half saves to keep the Galaxy in command. He came off his line and out of his box to slide away the ball from D.C. forward Josh Wolff, bearing down 1-on-1. Even better was his reaction save seven minutes later on Yorba Linda's Chris Pontius from a Santino Quaranta corner kick.
Ricketts' second successive shutout ended with Davies' penalty kick, and he certainly deserved more.