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The defender will miss the rest of the playoffs, including the MLS Cup final if Seattle makes it that far. He will also pay a fine and undergo sensitivity training.

The season is over for Seattle Sounders defender Marc Burch. The 28-year-old Cincinnati native was given a three-match ban by MLS commissioner Don Garber on Saturday for using a homophobic slur in Seattle's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Thursday, Nov. 8. He has also been fined an undisclosed amount and ordered to attend diversity and sensitivity training.

Burch released an apology via the Sounders website on Friday, but that did not appear to lessen his punishment, which is identical to that given to the Houston Dynamo's Colin Clark for a similar offense earlier this season.

“Major League Soccer has a zero tolerance policy in response to this type of behavior from its players or staff,” said Garber. “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.”

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