New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones has been suspended for six games and fined an undisclosed amount by MLS for what the league deemed to be a case of referee assault.
The incident involving Jones took place in stoppage time of the Revolution's playoff game against D.C. United on Oct. 28.
Jones was attempting to dribble past D.C. defender Sean Franklin while in the United penalty area when the ball appeared to strike Franklin in the arm. Referee Matt Geiger saw the incident but opted to play on rather than call a penalty.
An incensed Jones then sprinted up field to confront Geiger and was red-carded when he aggressively put both of his hands on the referee. After he was ejected, Jones then pulled Geiger by the shoulder as the referee attempted to walk away.
Jones will be suspended from international duty as well until the ban is served, but the midfielder is currently out of contract, and one source with knowledge of the situation indicated that the U.S. midfielder has been entertaining offers from overseas clubs.
If Jones does sign with a club from outside MLS, he will still have to serve the suspension per FIFA regulations, but the ban might be completed by the time the U.S. plays Guatemala in a pair of World Cup qualifiers in late March.
If Jones signs with an MLS club, the suspension will last well into April, meaning he'll miss both matches against Guatemala. Jones played in the Americans' two most recent World Cup qualifiers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
The six-game suspension is identical to the ban received by D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola for shoving an assistant referee during the 2014 playoffs.
The MLS Players Union appealed Jones' suspension but it was denied by commissioner Don Garber.