D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola has been suspended for six games and fined an undisclosed amount by MLS for shoving an assistant referee after the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Red Bulls last month. The league announced the punishment in a brief news release early Thursday afternoon.

In written statement released by the club, Espindola apologized for the incident.

“I am very sorry for my actions. My emotions got the best of me. I want to apologize to assistant referee George Gansner, to my teammates and to the organization. I look forward to being back on the field with my teammates soon.”

The likelihood of a six-game suspension, among the longest in league history for on-field behavior, was first reported by the Insider last week.

Espindola, who shared the team lead in goals with 11 and was first in assists with nine, received an automatic two-game penalty for the red card he received after the final whistle Nov. 8 at RFK Stadium. MLS’s disciplinary committee added four matches. He was the third MLS player this year suspended multiple games for making contact with a game official. The other incidents were not as egregious as Espindola’s and resulted in four-game penalties.

Espindola’s ban applies to regular season matches only and will not affect his availability for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against Costa Rica’s Alajuelense in late February and early March. The MLS season will begin shortly thereafter.

Six matches constitute about 18 percent of the 34-game regular season.