The United States qualified for the 2024 Copa America on Monday night despite a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Americans were firmly in control of the game as they scored a goal in the first half in Port of Spain, Trinidad, earning two yellow cards in a minute before Sergino Test was shown a red card in the 39th minute. A strange sequence.
Test was shown a yellow card for taking the ball after the linesman called the ball out of bounds. Test turned and started talking to the center referee, who covered his mouth as he did so and motioned to the linesman. Test seemed aggrieved not to have been called for an earlier foul on him. Several teammates, including Gio Raina, Younus Musa and Tim Ream, tried to pull Test away, but he continued to talk to the umpire and finally gave him a kiss. At that point he was shown a second yellow card, so red, and sent off.
Sergino Test was sent off after receiving two back-to-back yellows 🔴
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— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 21, 2023
Both Ream and goalkeeper Matt Turner were seen shouting at Test as they walked off the field and into the locker room. US coach Greg Berhalder immediately brought Joe Scally on for Gio Reyna, but four minutes after Test’s dismissal, Trinidad tied the game with a goal from Ryan Moore.
A three-goal lead entered the away leg on Monday night thanks to Anthony Robinson’s diving header. The United States should be kicked out of the League of Nations.
D&D took a 2-1 lead in the 57th minute on Alvin Jones’ knuckled free kick that somehow found its way through Turner’s hands. It was a familiar scoreline for the USA in Trinidad. They lost 2-1 in Coua, Trinidad in 2017, their last visit to the island nation, knocking them out of the 2018 World Cup. However, the U.S. managed to limit the damage at that point and secure their spot in the Copa America.
The win also advances the USA to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals in March. The United States won the first two editions of the Nations League and now has a chance to make it three straight.
What are they saying?
“It’s crazy, it’s unacceptable,” former USMND star DaMarcus Beasley said at halftime of the TNT broadcast. “This is unacceptable. What he did now to put his team, putting the American team under that kind of pressure in the second half, came down to a real game that mattered. Now he misses the semifinals. I’d like to know what upset him about kicking a ball out of the stadium and yelling at his teammates as you walk off the field.
Beasley was asked what Test’s teammates would say to him at halftime.
“I go to my OGs and if it was Greg Berhalter when he was a player and he was going to meet Sergino Test in the locker room, all hell would break loose,” Beasley said. “Same thing with Clint Dempsey. Same thing with Carlos Bocanegra. The captains of the national team. They’re not going to let this slide.”
“I understand kicking the ball out of the stadium, you’re upset, but you keep going, and then you keep going, you kiss the referee,” Beasley said. “Why? Because you didn’t get (you got a foul). That’s childish behavior. I don’t understand it, and I’m still upset.
The US ‘A’ team will not be together again until March when they meet in the Nations League semi-finals on March 21st. The teams that will join them in those games are yet to be decided.
Panama holds a 3-0 aggregate lead over Costa Rica and hosts them on Monday night. Canada leads Jamaica 2-1 and Honduras leads Mexico 2-0. Those games are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
The U.S. traditionally hosts a January camp for MLS-based players, though that camp has yet to be announced. However, it could be a prime opportunity to bring in Olympic-eligible players and, traditionally, build the depth of the pool.
(Photo: Carmen Mantado/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)