AP: 234c9733-5ed4-47d6-b225-e9586e5d4d7e
Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning (1) receives a hug from teammate Marc Burch (8) as Zach Scott (20) looks on at the end of their MLS Western Conference semifinal soccer match with the Real Salt Lake on Thursday. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) - MLS Commissioner Don Garber suspended Seattle Sounders defender Marc Burch for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount Saturday night for using unacceptable and offensive language toward an opponent Thursday night in a playoff game against Real Salt Lake.

Garber also ordered Burch to attend diversity and sensitivity training.

Burch will sit out the two-game Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Galaxy. If the Sounders advance to the MLS Cup, he will sit out the title game. If Seattle fails to advance, the suspension will carry over to the first game next season.

"Major League Soccer has a zero-tolerance policy in response to this type of behavior from its players or staff," Garber said. "While I understand and believe that Mr. Burch is remorseful, Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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