Having been crowned champions of the competition last season, the Seattle Sounders would have been hoping for big things when they got their 2015 U.S. Open Cup campaign under way last night.
Facing off against MLS rivals the Portland Timbers, though, Seattle could never have imagined the whirlwind of trouble that would greet them over the course of the next 120 minutes. Not only did the Sounders lose the game 3-1, but they finished it with just seven players on the field as three players saw red and Obafemi Martins was stretchered off late on.
The pièce de résistance, though, has to be the sending off of former Fulham and Spurs midfielder Clint Dempsey who could be facing serious punishment after appearing to rip up the referee's notebook - a move that was caught on video.
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With his team trailing 2-1 in the second half of extra time and teammate Micheal Azira having just been shown a straight red card, the USMNT captain lost his cool with the officials.
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It is unclear from the grainy footage exactly what it is that Dempsey is ripping up, but those at the game stated it was either one of the referee's cards or his notebook.
Dempsey wasn't finished there, though, and, as he made his way to the locker room after a heated argument, the midfielder mocked the assistant referee.
It is unclear at this stage whether Dempsey will face any further punishment for his actions but interfering with the official in any way usually leads to either a lengthy ban or a hefty fine.
Considering the Sounders star's stature within the game, and his role as national team captain, the Sounders star can surely expect a call from U.S. soccer in the near future.
Bad night all round
Clint Dempey's arrival in the match came only after the dismissal of Brad Evans for a second yellow card in the 70th minute and the team trailing 1-0 to the Timbers.
And, although the Sounders managed to equalize and force the cup tie into extra time, they began the extra 30 minutes with nine men when Obafemi Martins was stretchered off in the 87th minute, Seattle having used all their allotted substitutes.
Struggling against a numerical disadvantage Seattle saw their chances of retaining the U.S. Open Cup come to an end.
As for the referee? He ended the game with a police escort.
What do you think? Should Clint Dempsey be punished for his crazy actions? Have your say in the comments below...
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