November 21, (THEWILL) – The United States men’s national soccer team suffered a 2-1 defeat against Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Nations League on Monday. The loss came despite the U.S. having already secured qualification to the 2024 Copa America competition courtesy of their 4-2 aggregate win.
The turning point in the match came in the 39th minute when right-back, Sergiño Dest, was shown two quick yellow cards. The first booking was for kicking the ball away, while the second came for showing dissent towards the referee. Despite attempts from his teammates to calm Dest down, the 23-year-old was sent off.
U.S head coach, Gregg Berhalter, did not hold back in his criticism of Dest’s actions. “It is concerning because that’s not what we want to represent,” he told reporters. “As a team, players, the staff, we need to hold him accountable because it’s inexcusable.” Berhalter was also frustrated that Dest’s red card forced his side to play over 50 minutes shorthanded in hot and humid conditions.
While not wanting this to turn into a “witch hunt,” Berhalter stated that Dest had apologised to the team. The young full-back also said sorry to fans on Instagram, admitting his behaviour was “unacceptable, selfish and immature.”
Despite the apology, Berhalter emphasised the need for Dest to learn from this situation. “He’s a young player, he’s a fantastic part of this team. He’s going to learn, he’s going to grow. He made a dumb mistake and he knows that,” said the U.S. coach.