Clint Dempsey suspended 3 games for confrontation

Jun 19, 2015, 4:30 PM
n In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Seattle Sounders FC’s forward Clint Dempsey (2)...
In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Seattle Sounders FC's forward Clint Dempsey (2) appears to rip up referee Daniel Radford's notebook after Radford issued a red card to teammate Michael Ariza while playing the Portland Timbers in a U.S. Open Cup soccer match at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. Dempsey was issued a red card his actions. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP) SEATTLE OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT; TELEVISION OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHERn
(Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Seattle forward Clint Dempsey was suspended for three games by Major League Soccer on Friday and fined for his conduct toward a match official during a U.S. Open Cup game this week, a penalty the U.S. captain will finish serving before the Americans start the defense of their CONCACAF Gold Cup title next month.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber concluded Dempsey’s behavior was “referee abuse,” which requires a minimum three-game suspension, and not “referee assault,” which has a minimum six-game ban.

Dempsey was punished for a confrontation with a referee Tuesday in the Sounders’ fourth-round loss to rival Portland, when he grabbed a notebook from the official and tore it after a teammate was given a red card. Dempsey could face further discipline from a panel established by the U.S. Soccer Federation, but any additional suspension would be limited to U.S. Open Cup matches.

He will miss league games against San Jose on Saturday, Philadelphia on Wednesday and Portland on June 28. While Dempsey would have had to sit out U.S. national team games during the suspension, the Americans do not play until a July 3 exhibition against Guatemala, four days before the Americans start the Gold Cup against Honduras.

Referee abuse is defined as conduct that “threatens through a physical act or verbal statement, either explicitly or implicitly.” Part of the definition of referee assault is “damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property (e.g., car, uniform, or equipment).”

“We do not tolerate conduct of this nature from any of our players,” MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement. “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.”

The Professional Soccer Referees Association was less than pleased with the three-game suspension, calling it a “slap on the wrist” and calling Dempsey’s actions a direct threat to the integrity of the game.

“In late 2014 MLS was moving in the right direction in their response to referee assaults. Unfortunately, this is a serious step backward,” the PSRA said in a statement. “Referee safety is an important issue at all levels of the game and MLS should have used its high profile position to lead rather than regress.”

With Seattle down to nine men in overtime after an injury and red card, teammate Micheal Azira was ejected for an elbow to a Portland player.

Dempsey, who was not near the play, walked up to referee Daniel Radford and grabbed his notebook out of his hand. Dempsey threw the notebook, picked it up and ripped it in half and was shown a red card, leaving Seattle with seven men — the minimum for the match to continue.

After being shown the red card, Dempsey had to be restrained by teammates and a couple of opponents from getting in the face of Radford. As Dempsey walked off the field, he clapped derisively in the face of an assistant referee on the sideline.

Portland went on to win the match 3-1, ending Seattle’s reign as U.S. Open Cup champion. Upset fans threw water bottles on the field, and Radford’s officiating crew left with a police escort.

On Thursday, Seattle owner Adrian Hanauer said the incident “wasn’t our proudest moment.”

According to the USSF Policy Manuel, MLS had jurisdiction because he was participating in a professional league member activity.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Penguin Air


Associated Press

Royals rally on Murphy’s error, beat Mets, lead Series 3-1

The Kansas City Royals keep finding new ways to win this October. And now with one more victory in November, they will be World Series champions.
7 years ago
Associated Press

Shock beat Mercury in final regular-season game before move

Rookie Brianna Kiesel scored a career-best 28 points to help the Shock beat the Phoenix Mercury 91-87 Sunday in the team's final regular-season home game before the franchise moves to Dallas next year.
7 years ago
Follow @AZSports...
Arizona Sports

Fox Sports’ Mike Pereira wants high school football team suspended for vicious hit on official

If Fox Sports NFL rules anyalist Mike Pereira had his way, a high school football team in Texas would forfit its season for the conduct of two its players on a game official Friday.
7 years ago
Calais Campbell (93) is wrapped up by guard Mike Iupati after coming down with an interception duri...
Adam Green

Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals training camp – Aug. 4

Tuesday's afternoon practice had a different feel to it because Carson Palmer did not participate.
7 years ago
Arizona Sports

Mardy Fish handed first-round loss to Dudi Sela in Atlanta

The first stop of Mardy Fish's farewell tour ended quickly with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round loss to Dudi Sela in the Atlanta Open on Tuesday night.
7 years ago
UEFA President Michel Platini watches the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstan...
Arizona Sports

AP Sources: Michel Platini will run for FIFA president

Michel Platini will run for FIFA president and plans to announce his intentions this week.
7 years ago
Clint Dempsey suspended 3 games for confrontation