Dempsey, Palmer, Armando fined and suspended by MLS

ClintDempseySeattleSounders2-TFC2014 (USATodaySports)


Whether or not Seattle Sounders Designated Player Clint Dempsey meant to hit Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom below the belt last Saturday, he’s suffering the consequences.

The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee announced on Friday that Dempsey has been suspended for two matches and fined an undisclosed amount for violent conduct.

The Disciplinary Committee also levied a two-game suspension and undisclosed fine to Chicago Fire defender Lovell Palmer for violent conduct and a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine to New York Red Bulls defender Armando for serious foul play.

Dempsey, who scored in the Sounders’ 2-1 defeat to TFC, will miss the Sounders upcoming matches at the Montreal Impact and at home against the Columbus Crew. Palmer will miss the Fire’s next two matches against the Red Bulls and D.C. United, and Armando will miss the Red Bulls’ match on Sunday at the Chicago Fire.

Both Dempsey and Palmer submitted appeals to the Disciplinary Committee but the Committee’s decision was upheld.

While Dempsey’s suspension comes from his incident with Bloom, Palmer is suspended for an incident with Max Urruti in the first half of the Fire’s game last Sunday against the Portland Timbers. Armando is suspended following an incident with Deshorn Brown of the Colorado Rapids in the first half of last Saturday’s match.


What do you think of this news? Surprised to see Dempsey suspended for two matches? Think that it was intentional? How do the suspensions affect all three teams?

Share your thoughts below.


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51 Responses to Dempsey, Palmer, Armando fined and suspended by MLS

  1. Jack Del says:

    Well done, MLS. Restored a little trust for me.

  2. JJ says:

    This would make a lot more sense if Dempsey was suspended due to the kick-outs rather than the sack-tap. I don’t have a problem with the suspension, but defending skilled players should be a top priority.

    • Dinho says:

      Agreed, but that was more than a “tap”

      • bbstl says:

        True. And in my experience, there is no such thing as a “tap” in that region of the body!

        • bb says:

          I heard somewhere that Dempsey said he felt a hand on his back and tried to slap it away. It seems possible, but considering the attention this has received on national tv, you gotta suspend him a couple of games for it.

    • Ron says:

      No protecting all players should be the priority.

  3. lassidawg says:

    Both CD and Jackson should have faced something.
    The strategy of teams coming to seattle, play whack a sounder. Next closest team in the league is 37.
    In two games 50 fouls committed on the Sounders (25 each game) 15 in the first half by TFC with no cards. It is no wonder players were getting frustrated. If the refs don’t handle it the players will.

    • Red I says:

      … yep; and then they’ll get fined as suspended. I wouldn’t worry; just have Toledo as your ref at most games, and Seattle will do just fine

    • Landy Cakes says:

      LOL this is what everyone else in the world says when they play Americans. Its laughable to now cry foul cause a succesful defensive strategy is being applied to you.

    • Northzax says:

      So what you’re saying is that the team with the most fouls taken should be getting even more calls? As you point out, they’ve already gotten 13 more foul calls than any other team. If the Sounders want people to stop fouling them so much, they should work on converting some of those 50 free kicks in two matches into goals. The refs are making the calls. But this isn’t basketball, there is no limit on how many times you can foul. You know what stopped ‘hack-a-shaq’? Shaq converting those fouls to points.

  4. slowleftarm says:

    No Armando on Sunday, which means we’ll see Sekagya I suppose. Could be a long day.

    • Brain Guy says:

      What did he do? I didn’t see anything in the game reports except a yellow card (one of four in the second half, two to each team).

  5. reignman says:

    Suspension was clearly deserved for Dempsey. On a related note MLS really needs to take a look at how they can better protect skilled players. The amount of fouls that Toronto and KC have committed in Seattle the first two weeks is laughable, clearly the strategy is to just come in and play like thugs. Toronto committed 15 fouls in the first half and didn’t get a yellow, is that a joke?

    • Brain Guy says:

      Not that it matters, but I don’t think SKC is singling out Seattle.

      • Waterboy says:

        Agreed. I really don’t like watching SKC play, and other teams like Columbus are following suit due to SKC’s success. It’s like watching the Detroit Pistons from the early 1990s or the Hack-a-shaq approach in the old NBA.

        • Landy Cakes says:

          LOL you call when Shaq played the “old” NBA? How old are you 12?

        • RB says:

          Enjoyed Marc Connolly’s comment the other day as to SKC’s apparent philosophy: run all over the place, foul everybody you can and call it the beautiful game.

      • reignman says:

        Fair point, there is a difference between physical and just dirty or over the top and KC toes that line very closely at times.

    • Chodilicus says:

      Yeah, KC always plays like thugs and unfortunately they are rewarded for it. They have some skill but win through thuggery. It is not directed at the Sounders alone, they used the same strategy against RSL to win the Cup. The shame of it was that against RSL not only were they not carded, the fouls were not even called.

      Every year it seems that Collin gets talked about for defender of the year but he is terrible. In any other league in the world, he would get thrown out of every game. He deserved at least 3 yellow cards against RSL in the final and never should have been around to score the tying goal. I see the same type of play every time I watch him, including in the Seattle game.

  6. SteveE says:

    Note to all players, kick don’t tap. Keane can get away with a kick from behind with the ball out of reach, but when Dempsey slaps a guy in the same spot, 2 games. Not saying I don’t disagree with Dempsey’s punishment, but be consistent.

  7. Stinky Pete says:

    Remember that day when we were all just sitting here cruising SBI and then… BAM!… Julian Green decided to join the USMNT. That was a good day. I guess we are just back to regular soccer news again.

    • Expat4455 says:

      Pete, did you see that Bayern are playing at Man United on 1. April in CL? You know what that means, don’t you?

      Julian scores a brace at United, jumps on the plane and then scores a hat-trick against Mexico on 2. April.

  8. iggy says:

    Still leaves Dempsey with 7 games before the world cup camp starts in mid may.

  9. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    I am not defending Dempsey, dumb move.

    But the refs have to hand out cards when fouls happen intentionally. And they did, many times.
    Hard to tell if it is intentional, but 25 fouls a game for 2 games in a row = a lot of intentional.

    • Northzax says:

      But you don’t get a yellow card for an intentional foul (come on, most fouls are intentional) that’s not in the rules. Unless, of course, you’re going to give one for all intentional fouls, after which no matches would ever finish 11-11?

  10. 4now says:

    Watching that Sounders game, you don’t see in Dempsey a national team captain; you saw it in Michael Bradley.

    • Sandtrout says:

      Dempsey has been a chippy player for a long time. Yes, he gets fouled a lot, but boy does he dish it out. You all remember his first-minute elbow to the head in the Slovenia game, right? Should’ve been a yellow or red. I hope he learns from this, but they also have to teach the players who hack him.

    • Big Red says:

      Sounders controlled the midfield the whole game and when Bradley tried to get tough he got thrown into an advertising sign by Alonso like a rag doll. I’d rather my national team captain not be soft.

  11. BeardedSoccer says:

    CD would of got nothing if the NBCSN guys didn’t make a whole discussion of it.

    • Jack Del says:

      Or the fact that Tortono’s press group was all over it. Not sure what your comment is supposed to tell us.

      • Alex H says:

        I doubt that NBCSN would want one of their most marketable stars on the shelf. However, maybe Jurgen called the USSSF who called MLS in order to get CD of the field before somebody killed him :)

  12. OB Rick says:

    Just as Dempsey was starting to come into form.

  13. Ghost of John OBrien says:

    As a sounders fan, I like that the DC is drawing a line in the sand, that harsh fouls and violent conduct are not acceptable in this league and will be punished.

    I am however, extremely confused where that line in the sand is, given all the other dangerous fouls that are not deemed punishable.

    • Northzax says:

      The line is violent conduct. Punching someone in the balls isn’t a foul, it’s violent conduct. Kicking someone in the body isn’t a foul, it’s violent conduct. Head butting someone isn’t a foul, it’s violent conduct. I am really struggling with why this is such a difficult concept for people to grasp. Unless you can make a soccer case for punching someone in the balls, of course.

      Which you can: two players collide, one’s hand hits the other below the belt. Incidental. That’s a foul, move on. Two players are standing up, off the ball, and one hits the other below the belt, that’s violent conduct. See the difference?

      • Big Red says:

        Armando jumped kicked someone in the groin and didn’t get a violent conduct. So, no, I don’t see the difference.

  14. Cheeky Screen Name says:

    Clint Demp$ey to Seattle-Top 20 worst deals in MLS history yet? How long until Sounders fans admit it?

  15. Brett says:

    Dempsey is a bit of a hot-head. If you ask him to change that mentality he might lose that special quality that lets him change matches. Still, I worry that he seems to have developed into a bit of a dirty player. I’ve seen lots of stomping, elbowing, and unnecessary kicking while on the ground from him. Which is funny of course because he goes down so easily when contacted in possession. It might be all that time in England, but whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

    • away goals says:

      Dempsey’s temperament rewards teams for targeting him. Watching the tfc game, I honestly thought that was the strategy. None of the tfc fouls from bradley or jackson were emotional outbursts, it was like they were following a plan.

      Get dempsey worked up and he might not make it the full 90. In this case montreal and columbus are the benefactors.

      • Matt says:

        Exactly…think Ghana doesn’t notice? Hopefully Dempsey learns his lesson.

        • Gary Page says:

          Are you aware of the fact that Dempsey has played 102 times for the US, including twice against Ghana in the World Cup? I haven’t been able to find the statistics, but I don’t believe he has gotten a yellow card in either of the two prior World Cups.

      • Me says:

        So you are advocating this kind of play? How sportsmanlike. You must be a KC or San Jose fan.

    • Gary Page says:

      Did you ever actually watch him play in England? BTW, I checked the statistics and in 218 appearances in the EPL he got a total of 21 yellow cards or 1 every 10 games. I’m guessing he drew more yellow cards than he got.

  16. EMO says:

    Nice to see that the “MLS protects its star players” only applies to Irishmen (I’m looking at you, Robbie Keane).

  17. Ridiculous says:

    I am angry that a two match ban was leveled against Dempsey for what I firmly believe was not a two match ban worthy offense.

    In any match I have ever been involved with from the age of 5 through college, I have NEVER seen such a relatively modest “blow” — if one can call it that — punished by a TWO MATCH ban! Some of you will likely quibble with my description of Dempsey’s action as modest, but there was not a lot of force behind it at all, and it really looks from the replay like he hits the guy in the abdomen, not the n&ts.

    I simply don’t understand how some of you can come on here and say that it was justified!?? How? Help me understand.

    If I had done that or my opponent had done that — and I’ve been in chippy matches that are very intense and competitive — the most that would have happened is a yellow, and more likely there would have been nothing at all. It’s part of the game that tempers flare guys, and if soccer isn’t allowed to be a competitive sport where some disciplinary committee doesn’t pander to the absurd melodramatic acting of the guy who got “hit”, then what are we doing? I mean they just reviewed a tape where a guy totally simulated the effect of dempsey’s action as though he were hurt, and it was REWARDED with this two match ban. I’m just baffled by this. Call me a Dempsey homer, call me what you will, I just think it’s dumb. I really do. I can’t stand simulation and acting and now I feel that sort of thing creeping into MLS.

    There, my diatribe is over.

    p.s. I’m not saying Dempsey didn’t deserve something. Please don’t respond as though I’m saying that. I’m saying the punishment is absurdly disproportionate to the crime.