D.C. United captain Bobby Boswell has been suspended by Major League Soccer for the Eastern Conference semifinal first leg against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
The suspension stems from an incident that took place away from the action in D.C.'s knockout-round victory against the New England Revolution.
Boswell said he kneed New England's Juan Agudelo in the side, an action that forced the forward to leave the game, eventually won 2-1 by D.C.
The defender received a yellow card from referee Mark Geiger on the play, which was not caught by television replays, and he told reporters on Friday that he accepted the disciplinary committee's decision.
"I understand I committed a play where you put your hands at the mercy of the committee," Boswell said, according to the Washington Post. "Geiger saw it and he makes a decision on it based on the flow of the game, but at the same time, you have to respect the decision of the committee."
Boswell said he apologized to Agudelo after the game.
"We're fighting for position and he initiates contact," Boswell said. "I kneed him. After the game, when I talked to him, I said, 'Look, I wasn't trying to hurt you. I apologize if I did.'"
D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said he saw the video that the league used to make its decision, but said he didn't think the contact was enough to warrant a suspension.
"There was off-the-ball contact by Bobby Boswell, yes. But there was off-the-ball contact throughout that game on both teams," Olsen said. "Geiger had a good hold of the game and understanding of what was okay within the confines of the game. Apparently, the powers that be do not think that, and it doesn't surprise me."
Olsen will likely choose between Kofi Opare and Markus Halsti to face the Red Bulls in Sunday's first leg at RFK Stadium (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Right-back Sean Franklin said D.C. would have to make do without their captain.
"He's our captain and a big voice on our back line," Franklin told the Post. "He's going to be missed, and the next guy is going to have to step up. Kofi has played plenty of games back there. He and Steve are two hungry young guys. No matter who is in there, I am sure they can do the job."