PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Portland Timbers coach John Spencer has been fined $2,500 and suspended for a game for comments he made about officiating following a loss last Saturday night.
Spencer will miss Portland's match at home Sunday night against the New York Red Bulls.
Spencer was ejected in the final minutes of the Timbers' 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Jeld-Wen Field. His total fine includes an automatic $500 penalty for the ejection.
After the match, Spencer lashed out at the officials, suggesting the game referee called innocuous fouls because he was tired and couldn't keep close enough to the action to see clearly. He also made other comments.
"Poor, poor performance by the referee," said Spencer, a former player who is known for his fiery personality.
Major League Soccer announced the disciplinary action on Friday.
"John Spencer's recent public criticism of MLS officials was not constructive and will not be tolerated," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "We recognize that referee's decisions can be debated, but public comments cannot impugn the credibility of the officials or the league. MLS requires that its players, coaches, and club leadership maintain proper respect for the officials at all times."
MLS rules state that any player or coach who is ejected must sit out at least the next game.