Clint Dempsey Sees Red While His Side Continue Poor Start

The MLS rundown


It’s safe to say that Seattle Sounders have not enjoyed the start to the 2018 season as they would have hoped to, which was compounded by Clint Dempsey’s red card during the weekend.

Dempsey was shown a red card for violent conduct after swinging his arm and making contact with FC Dallas midfielder Jacori Hayes in what Rundown will describe as a ‘delicate area’ and leave it there. The sending off was due to VAR Kevin Stott, who made on-field official Chris Penso aware of what had taken place.

The dismissal was the third in Dempsey’s MLS career, after being shown one on Decision Day against Colorado last year after Video Review and his first coming back in July 2016.

His most famous red card came in the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, when he ripped up the notebook of referee Daniel Radford. He was subsequently suspended for a total of six Open Cup matches or the entirety of the 2016 and 2017 tournaments, whichever was greater. He is set to return from that suspension if the Sounders can advance past their first match of the tournament this season. MLS issued a separate three-game suspension after the incident. Dempsey will be eligible to return to the field when Seattle face Sporting Kansas City on April 15.


Dempsey wasn’t the only man to see red as Vancouver Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston was sent off in the 13th minute as the ‘Caps took on Atlanta United in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Over in the English game, VAR is regularly derided by some pundits (Shearer, I’m looking at you) and there was criticism in MLS as Video Review called for Waston’s sending off for a foul on Atlanta defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.

Replays showed contact between the players but that minor detail didn’t mean anything to ‘Caps boss Carl Robinson as his displeasure was clear to see.

“Have I looked at it? Yes. Do I disagree with it? Yes, 100 percent. It’s never been a sending off. He’s not looked for him, he doesn’t know [Gonzalez Pirez] is there, [Gonzalez Pirez has] blocked him, and because [Waston is] slightly bigger [Gonzalez Pirez has] rolled over,” Robinson told TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver after the match.

“It was an outrageous decision and a wrong decision,” Robinson said. “But if I come out and say it, clearly it’s ‘We’ve been beaten today, it’s sour grapes.’ Not at all. It’s a shocking decision.”

Robinson was asked if he thought the match-up between the high-scoring Five Stripes and then-undefeated Whitecaps was setting up to be a marquee game.

“I think it would have been [a great game] if 11 men had stayed on the field, because we were full of confidence going into this game,” he said. “We slightly adjusted our tactics, they had come off a very good home result… it’s frustrating, it makes my blood boil. But if you’re a random fan, the neutral watching the game must think ‘What is going on?’ I still can’t make heads nor tails of it. And that’s what disappointed me out of it, because the game was spoiled.”

Other news sees the MLS Disciplinary Committee suspend Orlando City SC defender PC one additional game (two total games) and fine him an undisclosed amount for violent conduct that endangered the safety of an opponent. Meanwhile the Disciplinary Committee has also found Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis guilty of simulation/embellishment against the Whitecaps. As a result, Elis has been fined an undisclosed amount.


Chicago Fire have signed veteran free agent forward Alan Gordon. Gordon, now 36, brings 14 seasons of MLS experience to Chicago and officially joins the roster after spending the MLS preseason on trial with the team. His contract is guaranteed through the 2018 season. Gordon most recently spent the 2017 season with the Colorado Rapids, where he scored three goals in 26 league appearances.

San Jose Earthquakes have signed defender Paul Marie. The 12th overall 2018 MLS SuperDraft selection for the Quakes, Marie has been sent on loan to USL affiliate Reno 1868 FC, with the right of recall at any time this season.

Montreal Impact have acquired attacking midfielder Alejandro Silva, completing a permanent transfer from Argentine club CA Lanus via the use of Targeted Allocation Money. The Uruguayan international has signed a three-year contract with the Impact and will join the club upon receiving his international transfer certificate and passing his medical.


US national team coach Dave Sarachan has added Pachuca winger Kekuta Manneh to his squad for next week’s friendly vs. Paraguay, meaning he now has 23 players in all.

The fourth overall selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and a member of that year’s Generation adidas class, Manneh bagged 22 goals and 12 assists for Vancouver over four and a half seasons before moving to Columbus in a midseason trade last year. He went on to chip in four goals and three assists for Crew SC as they made a dramatic run to the Eastern Conference Championship, then elected to move abroad to sign with Mexican club Pachuca over the winter, where he’s made several Copa MX appearances and one substitute runout in Liga MX action.

Thank you for reading the MLS Rundown, a twice-weekly column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CT_MLS