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Jurgen Klinsmann is heated over Dempsey’s suspension

Mar 21, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT

Dempsey AP

With Clint Dempsey suspended two games by Major League Soccer for a low blow on Mark Bloom, those around the Seattle organization are unhappy with the decision.

However, US Soccer apparently isn’t too happy either.

USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann expressed his serious displeasure with the decision by MLS, saying he is “very disappointed” to see Clint the only player disciplined by the authorities.

He also calls the two-games Clint was handed a “harsh” decision and noted that it could affect the player’s tempo headed into the friendly against Mexico on April 2.

The full Klinsmann quote:

“It’s very disappointing to see Clint be the only person punished from the game (against Toronto). There is a foul against him in the sixth minute that should have been a red card. The persistent fouling continued throughout the game, and he’s getting punished for a reaction following all those fouls. Yes he made a mistake, but if opponents don’t get penalized for consistently fouling, it only encourages them to continue that approach. A two-game suspension for that moment seems very harsh, and it comes at a very bad time for us as it throws him out of a rhythm before the game against Mexico.”

Something both Klinsmann and Seattle coach Sigi Schmid cited in the incident was the consistent fouling by the opposition which went unpunished.  The comment is factually correct, with Dempsey being the most-fouled player in MLS since his arrival in August.

(MORE: Clint Dempsey takes out his frustrations on Toronto’s Mark Bloom)

While this incident shouldn’t be cause for concern for Seattle or Dempsey long-term, it most certainly has a ripple effect into the USMNT setup, with Dempsey suspended for both Seattle matches falling prior to the USMNT fixture against Mexico.

With Clint struggling mightily the past few months, he had appeared to be somewhat resurgent in the beginning of the MLS season, but now he will have to deal with yet another layoff in his schedule.

  1. el timo - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    When great players are fouled like this, they get up and score goals. Dempsey had been doing a lot of falling down and whining, which only made it worse for him. Against Toronto, though, he fought back and scored a fine goal and karate-chopped one of his tormentors in the balls. So what if he has to sit for two games. He’s starting to play like Deuce. JK should stop whining. It sets a bad example.

    • bear06 - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      He’s not whining he’s saying the truth.

    • zxlaa - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:36 AM

      In the history of soccer bad refs unwilling to call the fouls that start the rough play have caused more than a few great players to retire early./

      Read up on it.


  2. kprsmom1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    The suspension is a joke…pure and simple. I’d be more willing to call it justified if Dempsey had been facing the player and taken a real cheap shot at him, and IF the ref had been calling fouls by both teams properly throughout the game. Dempsey had his back turned, and no one (other than Dempsey) can say that he knew who and where he was hitting.

  3. mvktr2 - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    MLS’s interests are not US Soccer/Jurgen Klinsmann’s interests. It’s nice when they overlap as they often do, for instance keeping star players healthy. I don’t care to comment on the veracity of the suspension just that while I don’t blame JK for expressing his desire I support MLS for doing what they think is best while Dempsey is in their employ and would say the same of JK if Dempsey were in the employ of US Soccer during the time of these incidents.

  4. josephurban - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    He is constantly fouled, tripped and grabbed. His jersey is constantly pulled. That’s okay. That’s what the big boys do. But when he retaliates and slaps away at someone holding him and tripping him he is the one to get punished? Either let them play or don’t. If the opponents “give” it, then they should be man enough to “take ” it without resorting to phoney falls on the ground and pretending they are hurt. This was a bad decision by the MLS. It encourages diving.

  5. cmchambre - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Totally agree with Klinsman, why penalize a player that put up with crap the entire game. Why cant these refs be reprimanded. Or better yet get sent home for good! This discipline committee must be made up of a bunch of stupid soccer moms!

  6. boscoesworld - Mar 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Dempsey was flopping around like a Flounder!! Most of the last season in MLS and his loan to Fulham were the same. The refs in England actually laughed at him in one game I watched. He should receive NO special treatment.

  7. Jenna - Mar 22, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Dempsey should have been suspended, no doubt. Two wrongs doest make a right and all that. But I think Klinsmann does have a case. MLS is brutal and all the persistent fouling does make it hard to watch (much less play). Hopefully, with the referees now making enough to be “professional”, we’ll start to see them clamp down on this. Hope springs eternal…

  8. jay1934 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Sorry Clint: You should retire. You weren’t very effective and you haven’t been effective with the U.S, team. I don’t know why Klinsman and Schmidt are crying foul. There’s too many other players on both teams that are more effective than Dempsey.

    • bear06 - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Dempsey has many years left in the tank and he has been affective with the U.S. MNT.

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