MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends Clint Dempsey, two other players for incidents

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer’s Disciplinary Committee handed out three player suspensions on Friday, including a punishment for Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey that will keep the US national team captain on the sidelines until April.

The Disciplinary Committee hit Dempsey with a two-game suspension and and fined him an undisclosed amount for an off-the-ball incident during the Sounders’ 2-1 loss to Toronto FC last weekend in Seattle. Dempsey appeared to intentionally strike TFC defender Mark Bloom in the midsection in the 40th minute of the match (video above), and although Dempsey later argued he was slapping Bloom’s hand away during the altercation, the committee ruled Dempsey used violent conduct during the incident.

Dempsey will miss the Sounders’ road matchup against the Montreal Impact on Saturday as well as a home matchup against the Columbus Crew on March 29 before he’s eligible to return on the road against the Portland Timbers on April 5.

Dempsey submitted an appeal through the MLS Players Union, but the committee’s decision was upheld by an independent review panel.

Chicago Fire defender Lovel Palmer also found himself on the end of a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for striking Portland Timbers forward Maximiliano Urruti in the 42nd minute of the teams’ 1-1 draw last weekend in Portland [WATCH]. Palmer – who also lost an appeal through the MLS Players Union – will miss the team’s home opener against New York this weekend and will not be allowed to return until a matchup on April 5 against Philadelphia.

Prior to the start of the 2014 season, the Board of Governors approved policy such that any player receiving a red card for violent conduct or adjudged unanimously by the committee to be an unequivocal red card for violent conduct will be automatically suspended for at least his next two regular season or playoff games and receive a fine.

The committee also suspended New York Red Bulls defender Armando one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for a serious foul play against Colorado Rapids forward Deshorn Brown in the 29th minute of their 1-1 draw last weekend [WATCH]. Armando kicked Brown in the midsection while clearing a header near midfield. Armando will miss the team’s matchup in Chicago this weekend.

The committee also fined Montreal Impact midfielder Justin Mapp an undisclosed amount for simulation in the 48th minute of the game against the Houston Dynamo last weekend [WATCH].