Major League Soccer announced a three-game suspension for Seattle Sounders attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey on Friday, following a confrontation with a referee in a Lamar Open U.S. Open Cup match against the rival Portland Timbers at Starfire Stadium on Tuesday night.

Dempsey was also suspended an undisclosed amount. In the 113th minute, the 32-year-old threw referee Daniel Radford’s notebook and then tore it up, drawing a straight red card for abuse.

“We do not tolerate conduct of this nature from any of our players,” MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement. “No matter how passionate our players are or what happens in the ‘heat of the moment,’ they must always respect all aspects of the game, especially the referees. In light of Clint’s actions and our past precedents, we felt that a significant suspension was appropriate.”

Dempsey's actions are puzzling, which put MLS officials in an odd predicament when it comes to handing down a punishment. However, it seems as though MLS got it right, with a punishment that seems to fit the level of the crime. Had MLS suspended Dempsey for two games, it would seem like a light punishment for one of their marquee players. A four-game suspension would have seemed excessive considering his actions were only meant as disrespect and not with the interest of doing physical harm. 

Grant Wahl and Taylor Twellman shared their opinions on Twitter, and Alexi Lalas provided insight on how Dempsey's actions influence US Soccer's interest in their own suspension.