The MLS Disciplinary Committee have handed Joe Bendik a chance to win his job back as the starting goalkeeper for Toronto FC. They opened the door for Bendik to make his first start since being sidelined with an injury back in April when they announced that Chris Konopka would be suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount.
Konopka will sit out a game for "endangering the safety of an opponent" in the 59th minute of TFC's game against New York City FC. On the play the Toronto keeper came out to the edge of his six yard box and tried to get a block in on Andoni Iraola but wound up taking out the attacker with a two legged tackle. The play resulted in the ball being cleared out for a corner by TFC and no further action being taken by the match official.
The incident was certainly quite the collision with Iraola winding up air-born and landing awkwardly near the goal line. With the angle provided of the incident it does not look to be that bad of a tackle but the disciplinary committee clearly saw enough in it to suspended Konopka as well as hand him a fine.
It is hard to get too worked up over this decision from the committee even if it seems a bit harsh to suspended the keeper for that play. What is frustrating is that they turned a blind eye to at least one other glaring incident during the match as David Villa somehow managed to escape any retroactive discipline for his flop in front of Konopka.
Konopka's loss could prove to be Bendik's game though as he will once again get the chance to start for TFC when they take on the Philadelphia Union this weekend. He was the clear number one coming in to the season but when he went down injured he lost that starting job to some solid play by Konopka.
Now Bendik has a chance to return the favour and win back the starting job with a solid performance. Given that TFC conceded 8 goals in their last two matches it might just be the right time to make a change at the back in the hopes of Bendik being able to restore some stability on the defensive end.