Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey has been suspended for three games by Major League Soccer for a bout of anger.
Dempsey lost his temper with a referee after Michael Azira received a red card in a U.S. Open Cup match, and he went on to take the referee’s notebook and chuck it.
The U.S. star threw the notebook on the ground before picking it up and tearing it apart. This caused him to draw a red card of his own for “referee abuse.”
Dempsey’s “referee abuse” also put him in line for a suspension, per the MLS rules. He has been suspended for three games, which is the minimum for this sort of behavior.
“We do not tolerate conduct of this nature from any of our players,” MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement, according to ESPN FC.
“Referee assault” can cause a player to be suspended for six games.
Dempsey will not be forced to sit out of the 2015 Gold Cup, but he may face further discipline that is limited to Open Cup games.