MLS Focus: Sounders get more bad news: Dempsey's suspension extended

MLS's disciplinary committee has added one game to Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey's suspension for the red card he received in the first half of the March 18 match against FC Dallas.

Because of scheduling -- byes and the March FIFA window -- the Sounders have played only one game since then -- a 1-0 loss at home to Montreal -- so it was only now, before Sunday's game at Sporting Kansas City, that a decision was needed if Dempsey was to be handed extra punishment.

Dempsey was given one additional match (two games total) for a low blow on second-year Jacori Hayes and issued an undisclosed fine for visual dissent. The initial red card came after the play was reviewed.

The length of time it took to make the decision, more than three weeks after the game and three days before the SKC match, is not what bothered Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey. It was the decision (unappealable by the Sounders) itself that outraged him.

"I say that, obviously, from my own opinion," Lagerwey told reporters on Thursday. "When I saw the red card, I thought it was a soft call. When you have things that are reviewed on video replay, there is an understandable institutional reluctance to reverse plays that have been reviewed by replay. Specifically when we talk about appeals, you have to prove things. My opinion doesn’t matter. It’s what I can prove. When a play has been reviewed, it is very difficult to prove the opposite."

Lagerwey used the example of a successful appeal: Roman Torres' DOGSO red card after fouling Jermaine Jones on a breakaway near the top of the penalty area in a Seattle-LA Galaxy match in late 2017.

"There was not an on-field review," he said, "and that gave us more leeway in that circumstance to appeal that red card."

To compound the 0-3-0 Sounders' misery on Thursday, midfielder Harrison Shipp left practice at Starfire Sports with an ankle injury.

"Harry pulled up lame," said head coach Brian Schmetzer, who admitted he was a little testy. "I’m not going to speculate on what the injury is, but it is an ankle injury and he had to get carted off the field today. That was a blow to the team because Harry was one of the guys that was going to step in for Clint. So the next-next man has to step up and play now."
5 comments about "MLS Focus: Sounders get more bad news: Dempsey's suspension extended".
  1. John Soares, April 13, 2018 at 5:59 a.m.

    I, very much like the idea of reviews by the DC. Both to add games, punishment as well  as incidents the refferee may have missed. BUT...3 WEEKS!? That is inexcusable, if not insane.

  2. Ginger Peeler replied, April 13, 2018 at 1:47 p.m.

    I agree! That second game suspension should have been announced at or during the last game the Sounders played when Dempsey was serving his first game suspension for the foul discussed. To come out and say, just 3 days before the next scheduled game, “Oh, by the’re suspended for this Sunday's game, too” is awfully harsh. Unfair to the coach and the whole team and the fans for both teams of the upcoming game. It’s unprofessional. 

  3. beautiful game, April 13, 2018 at 1:22 p.m.

    It appears that in the Dempsey case, DC tried to whitewash it, but the video is a witness that can't lie. Every suspected blatant violation should be reviewed and assessed by DC with appropriate disciplinary action; particularly on dives. Otherwise, LOTG becomes usurped.

  4. beautiful game, April 13, 2018 at 4:51 p.m.

    DC head Webb has a track record for not calling what he sees.

  5. beautiful game, April 13, 2018 at 4:52 p.m.

    Dempsey should have gotten a huge fine and more suspended games; his act was clearly premeditative and below the belt.

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