Vancouver Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos has been issued an undisclosed fine for comments criticizing Major League Soccer, the league announced Tuesday. The Whitecaps confirmed to Pro Soccer USA that the interview in question was one with The Athletic where Dos Santos criticized the long break between seasons for clubs that have been eliminated prior to the playoffs.
“Players at the top level, they have three weeks, one month maximum, on break,” Dos Santos said. “I’m telling you, three months and a half of a break in a soccer season is Mickey Mouse. It’s amateur. It doesn’t happen in the world.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps had their last game of the season on Oct. 6 against Real Salt Lake City. The players then trained with the club through November and are not expected to return to the club until January to prepare for the preseason. The MLS Cup final was played on Nov. 10 and the new season is expected to kick off on Feb. 29.
MLS features an unusually long break in professional soccer, which on average is about one month longer than the breaks of major European competitions. In comparison, the Bundesliga break lasted from May 18 to Aug. 16, La Liga’s break lasted from May 19 to Aug. 16 and the English Premier League’s break lasted from May 12 to Aug. 9.
Nonetheless, the comments did not sit well with MLS.
“These comments are in violation of the league’s public criticism policy,” the official statement on MLSSoccer.com read.
Dos Santos was not the only one fined Tuesday by MLS. The league also fined Jozy Altidore for comments he made criticizing the officiating in the MLS Cup final against Seattle Sounders, and San Jose Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda was similarly fined for postgame comments criticizing the referees during San Jose’s match against Atlanta United on Sept. 21.