Houston's Clark gets nine-game ban for horror kick

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New York, Oct 5:  Houston Dynamo and United States midfielder Ricardo Clark has been banned for nine games after a violent kick on an opponent who was lying on the ground.

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber also fined Clark 10,000 dollars for the kick on Carlos Ruiz of FC Dallas in the 89th minute of Sunday's game.

''In taking this action, Major League Soccer is sending a signal that it will not accept reckless and dangerous behaviour on its fields,'' Garber said in a statement.

''If there is a repeat of this kind of behaviour by any MLS player, even firmer sanctions can be expected in the future.'' Ruiz was lying on the ground after a scramble in the penalty area when Clark unleashed a powerful kick at his body.

Clark, who has 10 caps for the United States, will serve the nine-game suspension throughout the remainder of the 2007 regular season, MLS Cup playoffs and into the 2008 season.

Reuters>

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