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Five Aside

MLS suspends Rapids keeper Tim Howard for fan incidents in SKC loss

MLS suspended Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount on Friday for separate incidents last week involving fans in Kansas City.

The incidents occurred during and after the Rapids' testy 3-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. Howard was seen on a video posted to social media exchanging expletives with some in SKC's home crowd late in the match.

A source told ESPN FC that Howard also grabbed an SKC supporter by the arm as players were leaving the field.

The league's announcement said only that Howard, 38, was disciplined "for foul language directed toward a fan during the Rapids' match against Sporting Kansas City and for an altercation with a fan following the game."

Howard was also involved in a heated conversation with SKC forward Dom Dwyer after the final whistle.

The Colorado Rapids released the following statement after the announcement from the league: "Tim Howard made a regrettable mistake for which he is being disciplined by MLS. While this is out of character for Tim, we do not condone these actions. We accept the league's decision and look forward to moving past this. 

Howard celeb vs San Jose
Tim Howard will miss the Colorado Rapids' next three games due to suspension.

"The incidents that took place during our match at Sporting Kansas City last weekend do not represent the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club or Tim's character and beliefs, on and off the pitch.

"Major League Soccer and all 22 clubs have taken the pledge with the 'Don't Cross the Line' campaign, which is dedicated to supporting the communities where we live and play our games, and to providing an environment in which our staff, clubs, players, partners and supporters are treated with dignity and respect.

"Everyone at the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club stands behind Tim and we look forward to welcoming him back to the pitch in the near future."

The three-time World Cup veteran had been in line to start on Saturday night when the Rapids host Real Salt Lake, but will be replaced by Zac MacMath in goal and begin his three-match ban instead.

Howard will also miss an April 22 trip to Minnesota and a visit to Orlando City a week later. He previously missed Colorado's season opener after an injury he suffered on U.S. national team duty, but he returned to play in the Rapids' next three games, allowing a total of six goals in a draw and two defeats.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.


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