For those of us wondering about whether Ben Newnam would see discipline from the league after Sunday’s match against Orlando City B, wonder no more. The USL apparently announced yesterday, though how and to whom I don’t know, that the Louisville City starting left back will face a three-game ban after apparently punching Harrison Heath in the torso during the second half after a corner kick. Heath will not face any discipline for whatever action precipitated Newnam’s street boxing impression.
For those who might have missed it, here’s what happened:
— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) June 6, 2016
Yeah, that’s not a good look, and the suspension is probably fair. Given the Romeo Parkes incident earlier in the season, the USL obviously doesn’t want its league to gain a rep for this sort of foolishness, and Newnam probably should’ve known the score before doing that.
It will be interesting to see what James O’Connor does to replace Newnam in the interim. The former Charlotte Eagle had clearly nailed down a starting spot as left back, playing solid defense and contributing to the offense, too, as he was scored Elsie’s equalizer against OCB last week. Jonghyun Son, whom we were quite high on entering the season, hasn’t sniffed the field for what seems like months. Last year’s late-season starter Enrique Montano has made a few sporadic appearances as a substitute, and started against Pittsburgh, but failed to make a good impression after playing so well in the club’s inaugural season. Will we instead see Paco Craig fill in, or maybe a midfielder like Mark-Anthony Kaye?
Or, hear me out, does Newnam’s absence precipitate a complete formation change with three defenders a la Reynolds, Shanosky, and Morad, a five man midfield, and a Lubahn/Hoffman strike partnership? A 3-5-2 if you will? Probably not, as JO’C loves his standard formation, but a guy can dream. DO IT, JAMES.