With Clint Dempsey suspended two games by Major League Soccer for a low blow on Mark Bloom, those around the Seattle organization are unhappy with the decision.
However, US Soccer apparently isn’t too happy either.
USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann expressed his serious displeasure with the decision by MLS, saying he is “very disappointed” to see Clint the only player disciplined by the authorities.
He also calls the two-games Clint was handed a “harsh” decision and noted that it could affect the player’s tempo headed into the friendly against Mexico on April 2.
The full Klinsmann quote:
“It’s very disappointing to see Clint be the only person punished from the game (against Toronto). There is a foul against him in the sixth minute that should have been a red card. The persistent fouling continued throughout the game, and he’s getting punished for a reaction following all those fouls. Yes he made a mistake, but if opponents don’t get penalized for consistently fouling, it only encourages them to continue that approach. A two-game suspension for that moment seems very harsh, and it comes at a very bad time for us as it throws him out of a rhythm before the game against Mexico.”
Something both Klinsmann and Seattle coach Sigi Schmid cited in the incident was the consistent fouling by the opposition which went unpunished. The comment is factually correct, with Dempsey being the most-fouled player in MLS since his arrival in August.
While this incident shouldn’t be cause for concern for Seattle or Dempsey long-term, it most certainly has a ripple effect into the USMNT setup, with Dempsey suspended for both Seattle matches falling prior to the USMNT fixture against Mexico.
With Clint struggling mightily the past few months, he had appeared to be somewhat resurgent in the beginning of the MLS season, but now he will have to deal with yet another layoff in his schedule.