Sounders FC star Dempsey suspended for at least 2 years of U.S. Open Cup competition, officials say

SEATTLE -- U.S. Open Cup officials suspended Sounders FC star Clint Dempsey for six matches or 2 years of Open Cup play -- whichever is greater -- for a confrontation Dempsey had with a match referee earlier this month.

Officials also fined Dempsey an undisclosed amount. The suspension is in addition to his Major League Soccer suspension of three games, which ends June 28.

Dempsey was punished for a confrontation with a referee on June 16 in the Sounders’ fourth-round loss to rival Portland in the U.S. Open Cup, when he grabbed a notebook from the official and tore it after a teammate was given a red card.

Officials said Dempsey can not play in an Open Cup match to at least 2018, and possibly longer, depending on the number of tournament games in which his team participates.