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 Thursday, August 15, 2002 21:10 EST

MLS fines Williams $1,000 for arguing with ref

[Associated Press]

NEW YORK -- D.C. United midfielder Richie Williams was fined $1,000 by the MLS on Thursday for arguing with a referee, but the official was suspended for the remainder of the season for his calls.

The official, Noel Kenny, will not be assigned to any more games this season because he received his second failing grade of the season during Saturday's game between D.C. United and Kansas City. The referee also received a demerit July 4 during a match between Chicago and Colorado.

"Noel has been one of our best officials over the course of the past six seasons, and we anticipate him returning to the MLS referee pool in 2003,'' said Joe Machnik, the assistant to the MLS deputy commissioner for on-field competition. "Unfortunately for everybody, this is a painful part the process to improve the officiating in our league.''

Williams was assessed three separate fines for his misconduct during Saturday's game.

During a heated exchange with Kenny during stoppage time of the match, Williams was also issued a yellow card that pushed his season caution point total over 21 points, an offense that mandates a fine of $250. Williams also was given an administrative caution for excessive dissent, a penalty that carries an automatic $250 fine.

Williams also was fined $500 fine for criticizing the referee in comments to reporters after the game.

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