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Three weeks after incident, Clint Dempsey suspended an additional game

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MLS Disciplinary Committee sure took its sweet time in issuing decision after FC Dallas game.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (1:54 p.m.): Carlisle has updated his previous reporting and is now suggesting no formal appeal process was ever carried out. It just gets weirder, folks.

UPDATE: It turns out that the Sounders knew about this decision earlier than the rest of us, which is not entirely surprising. There hasn’t yet been any official word on what caused the delay, but it appears as though the an appeal of the decision contributed to the delay.

I’m not entirely sure who the appealing body would be — unless they appealed the decision to the same group that issued it, which would be quite the kangaroo court — but I’m not sure this makes any of this feel less absurd.


Remember when the Seattle Sounders lost 3-0 to FC Dallas? I know it’s tough, but try to remember back to March 18. Assuming you’ve managed to do that, you probably recall Clint Dempsey being sent off for what many of us felt was a somewhat questionable determination that he purposefully hit a player below the belt.

Since that game, the Sounders have played just once — which Dempsey obviously missed as a mandatory punishment — and had two bye weeks. With all that time passed, and with more time to examine other angles that seemed to support the idea that any contact was not purposeful, it sure seemed like Dempsey was in the clear as far as additional suspension goes.

Turns out, that was wrong.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee finally got around to announcing an additional game suspension for Dempsey on Thursday, deeming the act “violent conduct.” Three rounds of Disciplinary Committee decisions have been announced in the meantime, including one from the same game. While it’s not completely unheard of for decisions like this to have some delay, this is likely the longest any player has had to wait before learning their fate. It’s also just three days before the Sounders are next scheduled to play, at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

It’s entirely possible that the Sounders found out about this punishment earlier than the rest of us, but I can at least confirm they didn’t know about it prior the Montreal Impact match on March 31. Furthermore, even if the Sounders had more reasonable advanced notice, not announcing it publicly before now is a very bad look for the league. It’s bad enough that the Sounders will have to play yet another game at less than full strength, but the timing of the announcement makes this all feel unnecessarily cruel.