Three Toronto FC players arrested for public intoxication in Houston have been sent home.
Toronto coach Paul Mariner said today that Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma "will not be eligible" for tomorrow's match against the Dynamo.
The three were arrested outside of a Houston nightclub yesterday. The 1-10 team had arrived in Texas the previous day, following a 2-0 loss in Kansas City.
Mariner, who has coached one game for Toronto, says the team is working with Major League Soccer and the players' union to determine exactly what happened.
"Everybody's got the respective reports, eyewitness reports and so on and so forth," said Mariner. "It's up to the league and the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) to do a thorough investigation and then we'll find out what we need to do."
The timing of the arrests is especially difficult for an MLS team struggling to turn things around under Mariner.
Word around the club was that Mariner, Toronto's former director of player development, was going to grant the players more freedom than what they had under Aron Winter.
While the arrested players have not had a chance to tell their story, making the police blotter after yet another loss is hardly the start Mariner wanted to his tenure as Toronto's seventh coach in six seasons.
"I think it doesn't matter whether it's basketball, ice hockey or whatever sport," said Mariner, a former England international. "I've been a professional athlete myself and you're held to a higher level of order because you're in the spotlight and you're living in a privileged position of being a so-called elite athlete.
"But sometimes people make poor choices and we've got to get to the bottom of it. I don't want to jump to any conclusion myself, but obviously there was something going on because the police were involved."
Aceval, Soolsma and Silva were all on the bench for the Kansas City game, with Silva the only one to see action.