D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario has been suspended for two league games by Major League Soccer for violent conduct in a pre-season game.
De Rosario was sent off for a head-butt on Philadelphia Union midfielder Danny Cruz in the 60th minute of a game on February 23 and has also been fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct.
The MLS Players Union appealed the decision on behalf of De Rosario but the suspension was upheld.
"I would love to defend Dwayne or my players, but this one, I can't necessarily do that," D.C coach Ben Olsen told the Washington Post. "I just hope this is the last one we have to deal with because it affects us negatively and we have to clean it up."
"Pre-season becomes the wild wild west particularly late in pre-season. If you don't suspend players it is going to get worse and worse. Pre-season needs to be cleaned up."
"It is unfortunate one of our players is the guy they are using in cleaning up pre-season but in principle I absolutely agree. It needs to happen, holding players accountable to the standards they expect in the regular season."
De Rosario, who won league MVP in 2011 will miss United's season opener against Houston Dynamo and the March 9 match against Real Salt Lake.