This is interesting.
Last night, Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey took a referee’s notebook and tore it up during a US Open Cup match. What he really did was open up a can of worms for his national team status, as well his MLS status.
Seattle lost the game, so any red-card would be insignificant for Deuce, right? Wrong. Dempsey could have jeopardized his soccer future for the next month.
Rather than a simple red-card, as most people deemed it to be, what Deuce did is considered referee assault. Under US Soccer Federation policies regarding referee assault, he is facing a six-match ban. “Any player, coach, manager, club official, or league official who commits an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee (“Referee Assault”) shall be suspended without pay for a period of at least six consecutive matches (the “Assault Suspension”). The Assault Suspension shall commence with the first match after which the individual has been found to have committed this act.”
Seattle plays the Earthquakes this Saturday. The question now is: will the US Soccer Federation ban its arguably most valuable player from club play, as well as the upcoming Gold Cup tournament?
If banned, Dempsey can appeal, and be eligible to play until this appeal is heard and ruled upon. However, Dempsey may elect to take the ban so that he can get back into action as soon as possible. Only time will tell what happens.
If banned, this also might potentially open the door for Bobby Wood to fill the space left by Dempsey. Wood was left off the provisional Gold Cup roster, but had an excellent pair of games for the USMNT, netting goals against both the Netherlands and Germany.