A temper tantrum in last night's U.S. Open Cup game could very well cost Clint Dempsey big time. During the Seattle Sounders' loss to the Portland Timbers, Dempsey grabbed the referee's notebook out of his pocket and tore it to shreds. A moment of insanity for sure, but no one was hurt and he left the field afterwards. For a better understanding of the events leading up to the incident Sounder At Heart break it down.
What does this mean for the USMNT?
According to the United States Soccer Federation laws of the game (Section 531-9), any player who destroys a referee's property is thought to have "assaulted" him and is subject to a ban of a minimum of three months. That time frame would obviously include the entirety of the 2015 Gold Cup. New York Times' Sam Borden explains why:
Why is ripping a referee's card assault? From @ussoccer's own laws, assault inc. "damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property"— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) June 17, 2015
It remains to be seen if any potential penalty could carry over to the Gold Cup or not. A USSF-wide ban could impact his availability for MLS, U.S. Open Cup, and USMNT games. However, the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio offers this example of a suspension not affecting other competitions:
I covered USOC game in 2008 when Blanco head butted a DCU official. I believe he got a two-year USOC ban but don't remember MLS discipline.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) June 17, 2015
Expect swift punishment to be handed down. A ban from the Gold Cup is not impossible, but it would be very harsh.
What do you think would be an appropriate ban for his actions?