Clint Dempsey suspended three games for confrontation

Clint Dempsey suspended three games for confrontation

Clint Dempsey has been suspended for three matches and fined an undisclosed amount of money after he was red carded for tearing up the referee’s logbook and then stormed off the pitch in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game against the Portland Timbers.

Although the Cup is not an MLS tournament, the league cited jurisdiction under the U.S. Soccer Policy Manual because the actions were taken “by an MLS player against a referee during any club competition.”

One day earlier, Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer had publicly expressed regret on this and other incidents during the Open Cup competition, and said internal discipline was being determined. The club sent out its own news release on Friday after the MLS announcement including a note that “Dempsey will serve his suspension during the next three league matches.” Those would include the Earthquakes’ visit at 1 p.m. today, and matches at Philadelphia on Wednesday and next weekend at Portland.

The suspension comes at an especially bad time for the Sounders, who also learned this week that forward Obafemi Martins will be out three to six weeks with a groin injury suffered in the Open Cup match.

With seven goals each, Dempsey and Martins have accounted for 14 of the Sounders’ 23 goals in MLS play. Chad Barrett, who has three goals, is out with a hamstring injury.

“There are options we can have and things that we can do,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We went into a 4-2-3-1 against Kansas City and were unlucky not to get a better result there, so that’s an option.”

Seattle heads into this rematch with the best record in MLS and the fewest goals allowed. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei heads into the weekend with the most wins, the most shutouts and the most saves.

For San Jose, former MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski has eight goals, but no other Quake has more than one.