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Dempsey disappointed with 2-game suspension

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm •  Published: March 27, 2014
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SEATTLE (AP) — Clint Dempsey didn't have much to say about the two-game suspension he received from Major League Soccer.

Fourteen words to be exact.

"Disappointed. I don't agree with it. It is what it is and move on," Dempsey said after the Seattle Sounders wrapped practice on Thursday.

The real concern for some is that the suspension came right before a major U.S. national team exhibition against Mexico next Wednesday. By the time Dempsey takes the field against Mexico in Glendale, Ariz., it will have been more than two weeks since Dempsey last played.

And while it's just an exhibition, it's significant because it will be the last U.S. match before World Cup camp begins in May.

"It's a friendly, it's not a World Cup qualifier so there's not much pressure that there would be if it was a World Cup qualifying game," Dempsey said. "But it's still exciting to represent your country and to play against one of your rivals."

Dempsey was suspended and fined for violent conduct toward Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom in a March 15 match. Dempsey hit Bloom in the stomach/groin area, a blow not seen by officials but that was captured by television cameras. Dempsey said after the match that he was trying to slap Bloom's hand off his back and did not intend to strike his body.

The MLS players union appealed but the suspension was upheld. Dempsey sat last week when Seattle won at Montreal and will be a spectator Saturday when the Sounders host Columbus. He'll return to MLS play on April 5 when Seattle travels to rival Portland.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was one of Dempsey's most vocal supporters after the suspension was announced. He was quick to point out the number of fouls Dempsey has taken since returning to MLS.

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