Anibaba shocked by 'unprofessional' discipline

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Anibaba shocked by 'unprofessional' discipline

The suspensions handed out to Fire coach Frank Klopas and defender Jalil Anibaba by the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee were reluctantly accepted on Tuesday. Still, the whole scenario was a strange one.

Neither Klopas nor Anibaba anticipated disciplinary action after Saturdays 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at Toyota Park. Anibaba didnt learn hed received a red card until Sunday night.

"I found out from our PR personnel yesterday," he said following Tuesdays training session in Bridgeview. "He asked if Id been told I received a red card. I said no, but we checked on line and they said I got one for fighting. Actually, I heard three different things -- one was for fighting, one was for starting a fight and one was for the challenge. So, Im not too sure."

According to MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday, Anibaba drew his first-ever MLS booking for his hard challenge on Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez in the seventh minute of second half stoppage time. A scuffle involving most players on both teams followed as referee Michael Kennedy whistled the game to an end.

"It was a bit unprofessional that I had to find out about my red card elsewhere (and not from a match official)," said Anibaba. "But, at the end of the day, it is what it is. Emotions were high. Both teams were trying to protect their own players. There was nothing malicious from any party. Its just unfortunate that we got the short end of the stick."

Klopas joined in the melee and was dismissed by Kennedy for "abusive language toward an official," according to the game report. Klopas also didnt know about the dismissal from Kennedy until long after the Sounders arrived back in Seattle.

"I was a little surprised, but I respect the decision the league has made," said Klopas. "Weve got to move forward. Thats all I can say."

The Fire considered appealing the suspensions, which will keep Anibaba out of Friday nights road match against Chivas USA in Los Angeles and Klopas off the sidelines.

"Theres an appeal process, but for me to appeal, what for?" said Klopas. "There was a lot of emotion in the game, and I said some things to the referee. Unfortunately it was in the heat of the moment, and I cant take that back."

Seattle escaped suspensions for its part in the post-game activities, but forward Eddie Johnson was handed an undisclosed fine on Tuesday for an "inappropriate gesture" made toward fans as he left the field.

The Sounders, perhaps because they won, stayed calm for the most part during the melee. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid remained on the sidelines and told MLSsoccer.com that he went to Arne Friedrich, the Fires German defender, and asked him - in German, no less -- how hes been enjoying his stay in the U.S.

"He had this bewildered look on his face," said Schmid. "I figured Id try to take a little air out of the balloon."

Schmid also decided to have a post-game team meeting on the field, in front of a small band of Seattle fans who sat in one corner of Toyota Park. That gave the Fire players a chance to leave the field first and avert further confrontations between the clubs. Seattle midfielder Brad Evans said the scuffle was good for team bonding.

"Thats one of our rivals, Chicago is," said Evans. "It gets you fired up a little bit more."

Fire assistant coaches Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich will share coaching duties in Klopas absence on Friday, but Klopas will make the trip. He just wont be on the sidelines. Rookie Austin Berry will make his MLS debut as Anibabas replacement on the field.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Welcoming David DeJesus to the CSN team

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Welcoming David DeJesus to the CSN team

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio/Fansided) join Chuck Garfien on the panel. The Bears will reportedly bring Mark Sanchez in to Halas Hall? Really? Sanchez? Why?

The Bulls blow another big lead. Is Jimmy Butler to blame?

Plus the guy discuss if the White Sox are close to dealing Jose Quintana, Scott Paddock updates NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup Series and we welcome David DeJesus to the CSN team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Lake Zurich linebacker Jack Sanborn gives verbal commitment to Wisconsin

Lake Zurich linebacker Jack Sanborn gives verbal commitment to Wisconsin

Lake Zurich four-star inside linebacker Jack Sanborn decided to end his recruiting process Wednesday night, giving the Wisconsin Badgers his verbal commitment.

"(Wisconsin) has everything I was looking for," Sanborn said. "I believe I can't go wrong there. They have the academics, great football, the campus is amazing. I feel comfortable there with all of the coaches and the players as well."

Sanborn is the eight known verbal commitment for the Badgers in the Class of 2018 and the second from Illinois, joining Lyons Township quarterback Ben Bryant.

Sanborn is currently ranked as the third-best Illinois player in the Class of 2018 and is one of seven ranked in the top 10 to give an early verbal commitment.

The Class of 2018 won't sign a Letter of Intent until Feb. 1 of next year.