Baltimore Blast defender Mike Stankovic has been fined $1,000 and given a one-game suspension by Major Soccer League commissioner Earl Foreman for hitting Tacoma Stars midfielder Steve Kinsey in the face during a Feb. 24 game at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash.
"Because of the nature of gross misconduct, I had no choice but to do what I did," Foreman said yesterday.
However, the Blast has appealed the fine and suspension, and Stankovic can play until a hearing on the appeal is held.
The collective-bargaining agreement between the league and the MSL Players Association says the appeal hearings are to be held within 24 hours unless both parties agree to a later date.
The Blast wants a later date so Stankovic can play Saturday in San Diego against Sockers and the MSL has been forced to agree to a later date because Foreman is traveling.
MSL director of operations Jim Baker said last night, "It looks like the hearing won't be held until the middle of next week or later because the commissioner won't be available until then."
That means Stankovic also will be allowed to play Tuesday night against the Tacoma Stars in Tacoma,
Blast assistant general manager Drew Forrester said last night, "We don't condone what Mike did. But we feel that Kinsey provoked Mike into it and that factor should be looked into."
NOTES: The results on the MRI taken late Tuesday night by Blast D Mike Reynolds were negative, and Reynolds is expected to be out only 10 more days with a sore left knee. . . . Blast MF Joe Barger will be out for 10 days with a severe neck strain.