Both games had refereeing controversies that brought very public complaint from Sounders and S2. Dempsey was given a red card for dissent after tearing and throwing the referee’s book. Coach Sigi Schmid left the bench area before the end of the game, later explaining he did it to avoid choking the official. And at RSL, S2 coach Ezra Hendrickson posted a twitter picture depicting blind referees.
"Tuesday was not the proudest moment for the Sounders," he said. "Next to our logo are three words: Passion, courage and community. And the passion, there’s no doubting the passion of our players, coaches, staff – but it may have been redirected in some ways. Ultimately it starts at the top. I’m the one operating the franchise. I’m here every day, so I need to look in the mirror, make sure that I’m doing everything to the best of my ability to make sure that we’re all representing the Sounders in the way we want the team represented. We feel we do that on a very consistent basis. But we’re the bell weather franchise in Major League Soccer – perhaps in North America – and we need to always be at the top of our game.
"I don’t think anyone can argue that the Sounders take the Open Cup extremely seriously. We may have put the Open Cup back on the map. And both in Tukwila and Sandy, Utah, we wanted to win those games, and they were highly contested competitive games, and the passion maybe boiled over a little bit. We’ll deal with what we need to internally. We will certainly use any information we can to find if there were any specific fans that misbehaved, and then we have to use it as a learning opportunity and move on, because there are more tournaments and games ahead.
"I saw with my own two eyes projectiles flying. They were very isolated. For the most part – like always – our fans were fantastic. But there were a few isolated incidents, so we are looking into that.
"I’m not going to get into individuals and who did what. We’ll deal with all that internally. But suffice it to say we recognize that overall it wasn’t a good day for us – not just in terms of losing two games.
On if there might be club suspensions: We have not ruled anything in or out. But we haven’t made any decisions yet. Realistically we’re still circling the wagons and talking between us. It will all be done internally, and if you see someone missing I assume you can infer whatever you want.
On if there might also be sanctions from U.S. Soccer: Yes. There are disciplinary committees that review issues. We don’t have any information yet. But certainly the prospect exists of outside bodies looking at players, coaches, our fans.