If you have been living under a rock this week and haven't seen the play, take a second and catch up.
The video doesn't show very well for Pfeffer. His elbow is definitely raised and swings towards the FC Dallas player's head. I don't think there is much arguing that the motion and the contact to the head is a red card. It is hard to see from the initial play in slow motion, but the replays show that he was leading with the elbow in a dangerous manner.
The reactions online ranged from supportive...
If you know @ZachPfeffer_27 at all, you would know that there was nothing intentional about the foul today. Bad timing, unfortunate ending.— Chris (@UnionSOBChris) March 22, 2015
@ZachPfeffer_27 chin up kid, shit happens you earned the start today and you have plenty of glory coming your way— jeB! (@bubblesSoB) March 21, 2015
What the hell got into Zach Pfeffer? That's the cheapest of cheap shots.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) March 21, 2015
Not only is that a clear red, Pfeffer will be hearing from the Disciplinary Committee. Awful elbow. #PHIvDAL— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) March 21, 2015
With some attempts to reason thrown in as well...
Teenaged Zach Pfeffer without a beard would never have been ejected for elbowing someone in the head. My column:— Dave Zeitlin (@DaveZeitlin) March 21, 2015
Pfeffer took to social media himself to explain himself.
It was an unfortunate situation where I was just looking to get my body in position to win the ball. With my momentum and a wet pitch, it— Zachary Pfeffer (@ZachPfeffer_27) March 21, 2015
made the incident seem worse than it was. Again, no intention what so ever! Will move on from here!— Zachary Pfeffer (@ZachPfeffer_27) March 21, 2015
If I could tell the young midfielder one thing it is that he doesn't need to explain himself. Whatever you do, don't make it a habit. You started to show real promise this season making the leap from youth starlet to MLS roster contributor. You're one of us, a local kid and the fans are going to support you no matter what. Take this as a teachable moment, and next time strive be just a little more in control. The Sons of Ben have loved tough men like Danny Califf and Conor Casey who have their fair share of red cards for "mistimed" elbows, but if that isn't the player you want to be fine. Just don't feel the need to explain anything. Apologize for letting your teammates down, but no matter what you'll always be a favorite here.