Dempsey hit with two-game MLS ban

Former Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur striker Clint Dempsey was banned for two matches for violent conduct in his team's Major League Soccer defeat to Toronto. Dempsey, now with the Seattle Sounders, swung his right hand into the groin of Toronto defender Mark Bloom in the 40th minute of Seattle's 2-1 home loss to the Canadian club last Saturday.

Dempsey, who was also fined an undisclosed sum, appealed the decision through the MLS players union but the disciplinary committee's decision for a two-game ban was upheld.

The 31-year-old miss matches Saturday at Montreal and 29 March at home against Columbus. It was Dempsey who scored for Seattle in the 68th minute last weekend against Toronto, but two goals in the first 24 minutes by former Tottenham star Jermain Defoe in his MLS debut sent the Sounders to defeat.

Dempsey is set to play a major role for the United States at the FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil later this year.