Just a couple weeks after returning from a 5-match ban that arose from throwing a punch in the Toronto match, Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz has once again been suspended by the MLR disciplinary committee. While the specific incident was not specified, it's believed that the citing was for Fa'anana-Schultz kneeing a Dallas player in the face in an off-the-ball tiff.
Found the incident. He knees Augusto Bohme in the face at the end here. pic.twitter.com/sfcK2uTYcT— Josh Fredlund (@J0shFr3d) May 5, 2022
This is a big blow for both the team and for Fa'anana-Schultz himself. He will miss the remaining five matches of the season to start with, and then miss five more matches after that. While one might assume that this would wrap around the start of the next MLR season, it will actually applies across leagues. That means that any matches that he would have been expected to play will count against his ban. What exactly counts isn't clear, though, so it's difficult to say when he will be back.
This also derails what was starting to become a promising international career. He was the second-most used flanker for the USA last year, but now will definitely miss the World Cup qualifying matches against Chile this summer. With competition growing at the position, he could fall out of the World Cup squad entirely. He's still young enough that he could get back on track for the 2027 World Cup, but that is a long time away.
For Old Glory, the loss of a long-time nailed-on starter is not what they need just as they're finally starting to turn the season around. Fortunately, they have a good option in Luke Campbell, who played with fine form at eightman in six of the last seven matches. We will likely see him finish out the season in the position.