Major League Soccer has yet to make an official announcement, but according to a tweet by The Toronto Sun, Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders will draw a two-game suspension for a blow to the groin of Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom during Saturday’s match at CenturyLink Field.
Dempsey would miss Saturday’s contest at Montreal and the March 29 game against Columbus at CenturyLink if a suspension is enforced. Dempsey’s name is not yet on the MLS disciplinary list.
The play in question occurred just before halftime when Dempsey, apparently frustrated over Seattle’s 2-0 deficit and the large number of fouls by Toronto players, swung his arm back and caught Bloom below the waist. Bloom immediately crumpled to the turf. Dempsey escaped punishment, but the play was caught by MSNBC’s cameras.
Dempsey said after Seattle’s 2-1 loss, in which he scored a goal, that he was simply trying to get Bloom’s hand off his back.
“To be honest with you, I felt a hand on my back. I tried to hit it away and thought I was hitting his hand away. I understand that maybe I did catch him a little bit. I apologized to him about that, but for me, all I was trying to do was smack his hand from touching my back.”
Bloom reportedly accepted Dempsey’s explanation, but the MLS disciplinary committee did not, according to the Sun.