USMNT coach Berhalter calls Dest red card 'dumb mistake' - ESPN
The United States men's national soccer team qualified for the 2024 Copa America on Monday night despite a 2-1 loss to host Trinidad and Tobago in which American right back Sergiño Dest was sent off for what coach Gregg Berhalter called a «dumb mistake.»
Coming into the game — which also served as a quarterfinal matchup in the Concacaf Nations League — up 3-0 on aggregate following a win on Thursday, the U.S. took complete control in the 25th minute on a goal from Antonee Robinson.
It appeared to be clear sailing from there, with Trinidad and Tobago needing to outscore the U.S. by five goals to flip the result. But 14 minutes later, Dest picked up one of the most inexplicable red cards in U.S. national team history.
Seemingly upset with an officiating decision from moments earlier, Dest first punted the ball into the stands. To the dismay of teammates around him, most notably Giovanni Reyna, Dest continued to have words with the referee, earning a red card via a second yellow.
«It is concerning because that's not what we want to represent,» Berhalter said. «That's not who we are as a group. We pride ourselves in staying mentally disciplined, battling through any type of conditions, whether they're good decisions or bad decisions. We're supposed to keep going and respond in an appropriate way, and that obviously wasn't the right response from Sergino.»
The U.S. went on to see out the match with 10 players, winning 4-2 on aggregate despite losing the second leg on Monday, and Dest apologized to teammates and fans on Instagram following the match.
A post shared by Sergiño Dest (@sgd_2)
After picking up a red card earlier this year against Mexico in the Nations League semifinals, Dest becomes the first U.S. player since