New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones has been suspended for six matches and fined an undisclosed amount by MLS for making contact with official Mark Geiger during the playoffs, the league announced on Friday.
The suspension means he cannot play in any competitions while suspended, so it could hold him out of two U.S. World Cup qualifiers in the spring. His contract is up with New England, so if he decides to re-sign in MLS, it would prohibit him from playing in those qualifiers given that MLS begins in March. He'll have to serve his suspension no matter which league he plays in, per FIFA rules, but if he joins a team in a league that is currently in season, then he could serve his six-game ban prior to the two matches against Guatemala.
During the 92nd minute of their MLS Cup playoff match against D.C. United on Oct. 28, Jones contested a no-call from referee Mark Geiger on a would-be handball by laying hands on him, and earned a red card. Had the call been made, New England would have had a chance to tie their first-round, one-off elimination game.
Instead, Jones was sent off, and New England was eliminated by a score of 2–1.
The MLS Players Union appealed the ruling on behalf of Jones on Dec. 8, and the six-match ban was upheld by commissioner Don Garber.