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Added June 29th, 2015 by Ian

Clint Dempsey handed 2-year ban from U.S. Open Cup

American soccer star Clint Dempsey of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders has been hit with a two-year ban from the U.S Open Cup tournament. Dempsey, who formerly played in the English Premier League with London clubs Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, was punished for recently grabbing a referee’s notebook, throwing it to the ground and then ripping it to pieces. And yes, he also received a red card for the temper tantrum.

MLS suspended Dempsey for three matches for the incident and then the United States Soccer Federation stepped in and doled out their punishment. When all was said and done, the American federation banned Dempsey for half a dozen U.S. Open Cup contests or the next two years of the tournament, whichever is greater. Dempsey was also hit with a fine, but the amount of it wasn’t released to the public.

Dempsey ripped up the ref’s notebook in a U.S. Open match between the Portland Timbers and his Seattle Sounders back on June 16th. He then decided that he wasn’t going to appeal the ban and fine. Dempsey lost his cool when his teammate Michael Azira was ordered off the pitch, which left the Sounders with just eight players. He then grabbed the notepad from referee Daniel Radford. He threw it to the ground for one yellow card for dissent. He was handed a straight red for abuse after ripping it up.

According to the ban, Dempsey could possibly miss more than two years’ worth of U.S. Open Cup contests. He’s definitely out for 2016 and 2017 and perhaps even longer if the Sounders don’t play at least six matches in the next two years. This could be a big blow for Seattle since they’ve made it to the Cup Final five times in the past six years and have won it on four of those occasions.

Dempsey’s actions were quite creative since most soccer fans and experts have never seen a player throw a referee’s notebook to the pitch and then rip it to shreds before. He should at least be given A for effort in that department and it will be interesting to see if anybody else follows suit in the near future. Considering it was more or less a harmless and comical reaction by the player, the two-year suspension is seen as pretty harsh by some fans, especially those of the Sounders.

 
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