Breaking: Clint Dempsey fined, suspended three matches by MLS, won’t miss USMNT time

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Seattle’s Clint Dempsey has been suspended three games and fined by Major League Soccer for his tantrum during Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup match against Portland, but it will not affect his standing for the USMNT’s July 3 friendly or following Gold Cup run.

The ball was put in Major League Soccer’s hands when the U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel announced it did not have authority outside of its tournamemt earlier Friday, and US Soccer said any discipline handed over would carry over to international participation.. When that happened, MLS acted swiftly (if not harshly).

[ MORE: Sounders owner says incident “maybe went a little overboard” ]

“We do not tolerate conduct of this nature from any of our players,” MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement. “No matter how passionate our players are or what happens in the ‘heat of the moment,’ they must always respect all aspects of the game, especially the referees. In light of Clint’s actions and our past precedents, we felt that a significant suspension was appropriate.”

So if Jurgen Klinsmann calls him up, Dempsey won’t miss any USMNT time, as the three games cover Seattle’s matches against San Jose, Philadelphia and Portland. Since his suspension covers club and country, any longer would’ve cost him prep time in U.S. camp.

This is about as light as it gets for a so-called “significant suspension” as some misinterpreted and not applicable bylaws led many to believe the incident could’ve warranted up to three months. Seattle, Dempsey and the USMNT got off lightly here.