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Sporting Kansas City's Felipe Hernandez Suspended for Betting on MLS Matches

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 8, 2021

FRISCO, TX - OCTOBER 14: Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez (#21) kicks the ball during the game between FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City on October 14, 2020 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. (Photo by  Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sporting Kansas City will not have midfielder Felipe Hernandez for the rest of the season after Major League Soccer announced Friday he was suspended without pay for gambling on MLS matches. 

MLS said Hernandez violated the league's gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct and had been suspended since July while the league and law enforcement investigated him.

He disclosed to the team in July that he was worried about his safety because of gambling debts, which kickstarted the investigation.

The investigation determined Hernandez gambled on two MLS matches as a member of Sporting Kansas City, although neither was a game involving his team. It also found no evidence suggesting any other MLS player gambled on league matches.

"No evidence was found that the integrity of any MLS match was impacted by the sports gambling activities under investigation," the announcement read.

The midfielder will be eligible for reinstatement at the end of the calendar year as long as he follows "certain directives, including ongoing counseling." The release noted he cooperated with the MLS' investigation.

Hernandez made four starts for Sporting Kansas City this year and finished the season with one goal, two assists and 13 shots. The goal was his first at the MLS level.

Sporting Kansas City has 52 points on the season and is in second place in the Western Conference standings. It is two points behind the Seattle Sounders, who have a game in hand.

Next up is a game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 17.