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Cyle Larin Red Card Overturned; No Suspension for Rookie Striker

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Orlando City President Phil Rawlins tweeted out Wednesday morning that the appeal on rookie forward Cyle Larin's red card was successful and the forward will be available Sunday.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cyle Larin's red card has been rescinded and he will be eligible for selection on Sunday when Orlando City visits New York City FC.

The welcome and unexpected news came out via Lions President and Founder Phil Rawlins on Twitter a short while ago.

Both the red card and the suspension are rescinded in a decision that is almost unheard of. To be overturned, a panel made up of representatives from U.S. Soccer, Canadian Soccer and the Professional Referees Organization must vote unanimously and PRO is typically loathe to overturn their members' decisions.

Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said Monday after training he was not "expecting any favors, to be honest."

But justice won out for Orlando City and Larin got the three votes he needed.

Larin's sending off always seemed particularly harsh, regardless of what Simon Borg yelled incoherently during his most recent weekly roundup of controversial calls at mlssoccer.com. Larin came in late for a challenge on Sacha Kljestan on Saturday night in the 32nd minute against New York Red Bulls, but clearly did not make contact, although the veteran USMNT player grabbed his shin and rolled around on the ground as if the victim of a sniper attack. Kljestan was obviously fine immediately afterwards, of course.

After the match, Larin said the referee was going to call a foul but fourth official Ted Unkel told Fotis Bazakos to pull the red card. By then, New York had collected all three points in a 2-0 result that could have repercussions in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race.

It was the sixth time this season the Lions have had a player shown a red card -- second most in the league to Real Salt Lake -- and the third consecutive game in which an Orlando City player has been dismissed.

On Monday, Heath called for more accountability from referees, understanding that calls are missed sometimes, but taking exception to the fact that they don't have to explain their actions like he does.

"They make mistakes, and there's nothing wrong with that but let's be man enough to say, 'yeah I made a bit of a mistake,'" Heath said.

Heath, who was sent off from the game in the 74th minute, will not be available in the game Sunday, per MLS rules.

This is not the first time this season Major League Soccer has corrected a wrong against Orlando City in a manner too late to undo points lost. A few days after the 1-0 loss to Vancouver on March 21, a pair of Whitecaps were suspended for the following week's match for dangerous play against the Lions.

Had those two players been sent off, City would have played with an 11v9 advantage with plenty of time to poach a goal or two. Instead, the Whitecaps won in on a set piece in the sixth minute of stoppage time, after the fourth official had indicated that referee Jorge Gonzalez had added on four additional minutes. At the very least, it seems likely Orlando would have at least gained a point in that situation.

At year's end, we'll know what, if anything, those points cost the Lions.