Clint Dempsey received a red card and was sent off from the Seattle Sounders’ match against their rival Portland Timbers in the fourth round of the US Open Cup and is now facing the possibility of a three-month suspension.
With the Sounders already down to nine players and having just given up the go-ahead goal in extra time on what appeared to be an offside play, midfielder Michael Azira was given a red card for an elbowing a Timbers player in the head.
As the referee was attempting to log the ejection into his score sheet, he appeared to be ready to give Dempsey a yellow card for arguing. Dempsey then walked up to the ref, grabbed the sheet out of his hands, and tossed it aside. Dempsey then went back, picked up the sheet and ripped it up. At this point, the ref presented Dempsey with a yellow card followed by a red card and sent him off, leaving the Sounders with just seven players to finish the match.
According to Sam Borden of the New York Times, this action by Dempsey qualifies as “referee assault” which would result in a suspension of at least three months.
Just watched video of Clint Dempsey ejection in last night’s game; by definition, that’s referee assault, which carries a min. 3 month ban.
— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) June 17, 2015
For good measure, as Dempsey was walking off the pitch, he mockingly clapped right in the face of one of the assistant referees before spitting off to the side.
The Sounders surrendered one more goal and lost 3-1 in a match that was marred by several odd and ugly moments, including a weird situation where the Sounders had to switch from their black jerseys to white jerseys at halftime because the referee wouldn’t force the “visiting” Timbers to wear a more contrasting colour than dark green
After the match, Sounders manager Sigi Schmid expressed his frustration with the officiating. When asked why he left the bench area before the end of the match, he didn’t mince his words.
“I didn’t want to get thrown out so I just walked away from the bench because I was maybe going to choke a referee,” Schmid told the media.
You can see the full sequence of Dempsey’s ejection at the 7:01 mark of this video.
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