MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends Clint Dempsey two matches for violent conduct

USA captain Clint Dempsey will miss the next two MLS matches after receiving a suspension for an off-the-ball incident in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Toronto FC.

Joe Nicholson/Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle forward Clint Dempsey will miss Sounders FC’s next two league matches and pay an undisclosed fine after the MLS Disciplinary Committee banned him for violent conduct on Friday.

Dempsey lashed out at Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom in the 40th minute of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Toronto FC and struck him in the lower midsection. The U.S. international captain did not receive any discipline on the field of play, but the Disciplinary Committee reviewed the footage of the incident and imposed supplemental discipline for the action after unanimously concluding the incident constituted violent conduct.

Dempsey submitted an appeal of the action through the MLS Players Union, but it was denied earlier this week, according to a league release. The upheld verdict means Dempsey will miss tomorrow’s trip to Montréal and next Saturday’s home match against Columbus. 

The decision reflects a new Disciplinary Committee policy for the 2014 season to mete out mandatory two-match bans for any instances of violent conduct. The new edict applies to both red cards issued from the run of play or any supplemental decisions rendered by the Disciplinary Committee, according to a league release.

Two other players will join Dempsey on the sidelines this weekend: Chicago defender Lovel Palmer landed a two-match ban and an undisclosed fine for his tackle on Maximiliano Urruti in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Portland (also upheld on appeal), while New York defender Armando received a one-match suspension for his foul on Colorado’s Deshorn Brown in the 1-1 draw between those two sides on Saturday.