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NEW YORK (AP) — New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones has been suspended for the first six Major League Soccer games next season, a penalty that could cause him to miss the United States' two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala in March.
U.S. national team spokesman Michael Kammarman said Jones would be eligible for the qualifiers if he transfers to a club in another league and serves the six-game ban before the games on March 25 and 29.
The league said Friday Jones was suspended and fined for his conduct toward referee Mark Geiger during second-half stoppage time in a playoff game against D.C. United on Oct. 28. With the Revolution trailing 2-1, Jones brought down a long ball in the penalty area and with his left foot touched the ball toward the arm of United defender Sean Franklin.
Geiger declined to call a penalty kick. Jones sprinted toward Geiger and was given a yellow card for dissent, then pushed Geiger in the chest and received a red card.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber heard an appeal by the MLS Players Union and upheld the six-game suspension. Under MLS and U.S. Soccer Federation policy, the 34-year-old midfielder is ineligible to play in any soccer competition while serving the penalty.
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