PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The U.S. Men’s National Team secured their place in the 2024 Copa America despite a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday night. The Americans took an early lead in the first half but faced challenges after Sergiño Dest received a red card in the 39th minute. Dest’s red card, following two quick yellow cards, came after a sequence of events in which he kicked the ball and then engaged with the referee and his teammates. This disrupted the team’s play and put them under pressure. However, the U.S. remained in control of the game until Trinidad scored an equalizer following Dest’s dismissal.
The U.S. had a three-goal lead going into the away leg, ensuring their spot in the Copa America. Despite the loss, the team also advanced to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals in March. Former USMNT star DaMarcus Beasley criticized Dest’s behavior, calling it “unacceptable” and noting the added pressure it put on the team heading into a crucial game. U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter expressed disappointment in Dest’s actions and emphasized the need for accountability and growth.
Looking ahead, the U.S. ‘A’ team will regroup for the Nations League semifinals in March. Other teams joining them in the games are yet to be determined, with Panama holding a lead over Costa Rica and Canada leading against Jamaica. The U.S. traditionally holds a January camp for MLS-based players, and it could present an opportunity to build out the team’s depth and incorporate Olympic-eligible players.
In the end, despite their loss, the U.S. secured their place in the 2024 Copa America and advanced to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals. The team will focus on regrouping and preparing for their upcoming matches, while addressing the need for player accountability and growth.