Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey has been suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct toward a match official during a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday, July 16. While the incident took place outside MLS league play, alleged actions by an MLS player against a referee during any club competition is adjudicated and disciplined by the professional league. In this case, MLS had jurisdiction to review the incident and levy sanctions per Policy 202(1)(H)-2 in the U.S. Soccer Policy Manual. Dempsey will serve his suspension during the next three Sounders matches and he is precluded from participating in any soccer competition until the suspension has expired.
And from deputy commissioner Mark Abbott:
“We do not tolerate conduct of this nature from any of our players. No matter how passionate our players are or what happens in the ‘heat of the moment,’ they must always respect all aspects of the game, especially the referees. In light of Clint’s actions and our past precedents, we felt that a significant suspension was appropriate.”