PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – The United States men’s national soccer team secured a spot in the 2024 Copa America despite a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. The defeat was marred by a red card issued to American right back Sergino Dest, who was criticized by coach Gregg Berhalter for his “dumb mistake.”
The U.S. team entered the match with a 3-0 lead on aggregate and took early control with a goal from Antonee Robinson in the 25th minute. However, the game took a turn when Dest received a red card for an incident that left both his teammates and coach disappointed.
“It is concerning because that’s not what we want to represent,” said Berhalter. “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.”
Despite playing with 10 men, the U.S. team managed to see out the match, winning 4-2 on aggregate and securing their spot in the 2024 Copa America. Dest, who had previously received a red card earlier in the year, apologized to his teammates and fans on Instagram following the match.
“He apologized to the group. He said it’s not going to happen again,” said Berhalter. “As a team, the players, the staff, we need to hold him accountable because it’s inexcusable. It really is. And we were very firm with our words after the game.”
The Copa America will feature all 10 CONMEBOL teams along with six teams from Concacaf and will be hosted by the United States. The tournament is set to begin in Atlanta on June 20 and conclude in Miami on July 14.