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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

North American league bans player for rest of season after vicious on-field assault

Romeo Parkes was playing with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds when the incident happened.

THE UNITED SOCCER League, the third tier of the game in North America, was plunged into controversy over the weekend after a vicious on-field assault.

There were 86 minutes gone in a regular season clash between the New York Red Bulls’ reserve side and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds when Karl Oimette and Romeo Parkes were involved in an altercation.

Source: Belicini/YouTube

Both were subsequently dished red cards by the referee and Oimette turned and headed for the dressing-rooms.

However, Parkes, a Jamaican international and the Riverhounds’ leading scorer this season, seemed particularly vexed at his dismissal.

He began to call after Oimette, who ignored him and continued to walk away.

Parkes followed behind before violently driving his left foot, studs first, into the small of Oimette’s back.

The Red Bulls’ player dropped to the ground instantly and was later stretchered off the pitch after receiving treatment for eight minutes.

Afterwards, the Riverhounds’ head coach Mark Steffens said:

“It was very embarrassing. I would anticipate that there will be action taken by the USL, and we will be taking action as well. This was way out of left field for him (Parkes). We didn’t see this coming at all.  He’s been a quality player for us. Obviously we’re very disappointed in this behavior”.

The team subsequently terminated Parkes’ contract while the league has announced the 25-year-old will be banned for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The USL is currently home to a couple of Irish players.

Liam Miller is with the Wilmington Hammerheads, James Chambers is plying his trade for Bethlehem Steel, Derek Foran is now based in Sacramento along with Tommy Stewart.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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