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Originally published March 19, 2014 at 5:10 PM | Page modified March 19, 2014 at 10:25 PM

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Sounders’ Clint Dempsey might get two-game suspension

Sounders FC star Clint Dempsey is reportedly facing a two-game suspension, but a final decision from the MLS disciplinary committee might not come until Friday.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Sounders FC star Clint Dempsey is facing a two-game suspension for actions in Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Toronto FC, according to The Toronto Sun.

Dempsey was involved in several controversial plays, most notably a first-half smack to the groin of TFC defender Mark Bloom, a swing Dempsey said after the game was intended to knock Bloom’s arm off his back.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said Wednesday the team has been informed that Dempsey is under review from the MLS disciplinary committee. A final decision on any punishment might not come until Friday.

Disciplinary committee decisions are subject to appeal by the MLS players union, which could push a league announcement — perhaps a reduced penalty from the reported two-game suspension — until the end of the week.

The Sounders are hoping for the earliest resolution possible because the team departs Thursday for a game in Montreal, a cross-continental trip that requires a connecting flight.

Schmid offered defense of Dempsey following the team’s final local practice of the week.

“He’s a player who, when you look at minutes played, is the most fouled player in the league,” the coach said. “Our team is the most fouled team in the league. Hopefully that gets looked at a little bit or taken into account a little bit, as well.”

Dempsey was fouled six times Saturday, his most as a Sounder. He has been fouled 3.6 times per 90 minutes since his August return to the league, most in MLS, according to the league.

Even U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said he is worried about the physical treatment of Dempsey, the USMNT captain.

“This was one of the main issues already when he came back into MLS last fall,” Klinsmann said in a video from U.S. Soccer. “They really kind of banged him in every game. I mean fouled over the edge. I hope that MLS is having an eye on that.

“What I saw there on the weekend (against Toronto), there were certain things not within the rules anymore. So I hope our players will certainly get a little bit of protection because they need to be healthy going into this World Cup.”

Weather watch

Conditions in Montreal have been wintry this week, but Impact officials are still confident Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Olympic Stadium, the team’s home opener, will continue as planned.

Vice president Richard Legendre told Montreal reporters Wednesday that any snow accumulation beyond three centimeters (1.18 inches) on the stadium roof could force a postponement, perhaps to Sunday, weather permitting.

A final decision will be made by 1 p.m. Friday.

Referee work stoppage over?

The referee lockout in MLS could soon be over. According to ESPN.com, Professional Referee Organization (the group that oversees officiating in the U.S. and Canada) and the union representing the referees have reached a tentative deal on a collective bargaining agreement.

The deal still needs to be ratified by the Professional Soccer Referees Association, but if it is, the work stoppage could be over by this weekend.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184

or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @joshuamayers



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