By DAN KARELL
Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t a fan of Clint Dempsey’s two-game suspension for violent conduct.
Major League Soccer announced on Friday that Dempsey was suspended for two games for an incident with Toronto FC defender Marc Bloom last Saturday, keeping Dempsey out of the Sounders lineup until April 12. In addition, Dempsey was the recipient of a number of fouls, something noted strongly by Klinsmann in a response to the Dempsey suspension.
“It’s very disappointing to see Clint be the only person punished from this game (against TFC),” Klinsmann said. “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.”
Earlier this week, Klinsmann defended Dempsey by saying that the league and referee’s had to protect players such as Dempsey. Klinsmann is worried about losing one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s best players ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Since joining MLS last August, Dempsey has been fouled more times per game than any other player in the league who has played a minimum of 300 minutes. Dempsey is averaging 3.6 fouls received per game.
“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,” Klinsmann said.
The USMNT faces Mexico on April 2 in Glendale, Ariz. Dempsey is expected to be in the squad composed of MLS and Liga MX-based players.
What do you think of these comments? Agree with Klinsmann? Think that the suspension was harsh? Think that the suspension was deserved?
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