Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off in the first half of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 win against the Montreal Impact for slapping Michael Petrasso at Saputo Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Petrasso appeared to step on Ibrahimovic's foot in the 39th minute with the teams locked in a goalless draw and the former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain forward responded by slapping the Impact winger in the side of the head.
Both players went to ground and after the referee consulted VAR he handed Petrasso a yellow card and Ibrahimovic a straight red for violent conduct.
Ibrahimovic limped off the pitch with the help of a Galaxy training-staff member, leaving his team to finish the match with 10 players.
Following the match, Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid said he was confused by the sequence of events and wondered why his team wasn't given a penalty kick if Petrasso's stamp on Ibrahimovic's foot was intentional as he believed it was.
"He got stepped on pretty good. I'm a little confused," said Schmid. "Seems to me in the order of fouls, the stepping occurred first so I don't know why it is not a penalty kick. And if they're saying that the step was accidental then why did they give him a yellow card?
"So it makes no sense. If you give him a yellow card, it means he stepped on him on purpose. And if he stepped on him on purpose, then it has got to be a penalty kick and Zlatan gets a red card for his reaction to it.
"Any time you play a man down like that, everybody digs a little bit deeper. And we talked about this being an adverse situation and we want to define our character now."
Ola Kamara scored in the second half to secure the three points for Schmid's team to snap a four-game losing streak for LA.
The Galaxy now have 10 red cards in the last two MLS seasons -- a tie for most in the league in that span with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
And Schmid said he thinks that the attitude of some MLS players toward stars isn't in line with the treatment big names are used to in Europa and South America and that Ibrahimovic is feeling the effects of that as he adjusts to life in the U.S. top flight.
"A lot of times when you have big players in Europe or even South America, there's a little more respect for the big players," Schmid said. "And MLS is a little more 'Okay, well I'm going to show you' kind of attitude rather than a little of that respect.
"I don't know exactly what happened out there so I can't really say, but certainly people are going to challenge him."
Schmid also added that he was certain the league would review the play, with the team awaiting news on whether or not Ibrahimovic would be suspended for the incident.