On Monday, the United States soccer team faced off against Trinidad and Tobago in the second leg of the Concacaf Nations League quarter final.
Coming into the match, US team was already ahead 3-0 on aggregate and all they had to do was have a clean game.
United States gained control of the match from an early goal scored by Anyone Robinson. But things completely went sideways for the US right before halftime.
During the 39th minute, Sergiño Dest unsuccessfully tried to keep a ball in without conceding a throw in. He got upset with the decision and kicked the ball to the stand. This resulted in him getting booked with a yellow card.
This further pushed Dest so much so that he started verbally abusing the referee. His teammates tried to keep him away and stop his verbal attacks.
But the damage was already done when Dest got booked again with a second yellow and was sent off the field. Dest can be seen giving flying kisses to the referee as an insult.
Trinidad and Tobago came back into the match finishing it at 2-1 for a win. However, US still moves to the semifinals on aggregate.
Dest’s teammates were visibly frustrated with his actions, they tried their best to calm him down. First it was Giovanni Reyna who tried to keep Dest away from the referee.
Then, when he got the red card, fellow defender Tim Ream and goalkeeper, Matt Turner showed their disappointment in Dest’s actions as Dest walked off the field.
This disappointment comes from Dest’s poor judgement, lack of focus and he weakened their defense because of these boneheaded reactions.
After the match, Coach Berhalter also expressed his feelings by stating “As a team, players & staff, we have to hold him accountable. Because it’s inexcusable, it really is. We were very firm with our words after the game. He put a number of guys in jeopardy, made a number of guys do extra work in this weather.”
Antonee Robinson who scored in the match from an assist from Dest called his teammate’s actions against the referee as “a moment of unprofessionalism”.
This is not the first time US men’s soccer team went through crisis like this under Berhalter, last year issues brewed up between the manager and Giovanni Reyna.
Fans on X jokes that Reyna probably got relieved that he no longer is the most hated player in the team. Some also have joked about the situation as the problems within the team lie in the management and the tactics but now Berhalter can pin it on Dest.
Sergiño Dest later apologized on Instagram for his actions calling his actions, selfish and immature.
Losing morale does not do any good for this team as they go into the qualifications to join Copa America which the US host next year. This is not the standard they want to set going into the tournament.