Tim Howard has been suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for verbal altercations with fans in the Colorado Rapids' 31 loss at Sporting Kansas City, Major League Soccer announced on Friday.
The incidents occurred during and immediately after the match. Security camera footage at Children's Mercy Park captured one incident, and another was captured by a fan and posted to Twitter. In the latter case, Howard directed a vulgar statement to fans. It can be seen here (Warning: graphic language). SI understands that both of those incidents were part of the reason for Howard's suspension.
Howard also had a brief altercation with Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer after the final whistle, but SI understands that exchange was not part of the reason for the disciplinary action.
- FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 10, 2017
The Colorado Rapids released the following statement on the suspension:
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. 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.
On Monday, the MLS Players' Union released a statement that criticized Sporting Kansas City's handling of the situation, specifically in allowing fans to be in close proximity to Howard:
Statement on Tim Howard Disciplinary Decision: "Tim takes responsibility for his actions, but MLS needs to do the same..." pic.twitter.com/uQMTV6Hk9O
- MLS Players Union (@MLSPlayersUnion) April 15, 2017
The suspension will keep Howard out of action until May 5, when the Rapids host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. He will miss Colorado's home date this Saturday against rivals Real Salt Lake, along with away trips to Minnesota United FC and Orlando City in subsequent weeks.
Howard joined the Rapids as a Designated Player last summer after 13 years in the English Premier League with Manchester United and Everton.