Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images for USSF
Monday was largely a night to forget for the United States men’s national soccer team in large part because of right-back Sergiño Dest, even though it qualified for the 2024 Copa America during a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.
Dest was sent off with a red card via a second yellow card and apologized on Instagram in the aftermath.
“I want to apologize to my Teammates, Staff, Fans and whole nation for my behaviour it was unacceptable, Selfish and immature I let my team down!” he wrote. “It’s something I have to learn from and it won’t happen again!”
The Americans entered the game up 3-0 on aggregate thanks to Thursday’s win, so there wasn’t much pressure on the overall outcome. A first-half goal from Antonee Robinson seemed to eliminate any reason for worry, as Trinidad and Tobago needed to outscore the United States by five from there to change the result.
Yet Dest punted the ball into the stands out of frustration and then continued to argue with the official.
He was given a red card through a second yellow much to the dismay of teammates Tim Ream and Matt Turner, who made it clear to Dest how upset they were with him as he walked off the field.
“He apologized to the group. He said it’s not going to happen again,” coach Gregg Berhalter said, per Kyle Bonagura of ESPN. “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.
“He put a number of guys in jeopardy, made a number of guys do a lot of extra work in this weather, and it’s inexcusable.”
Dest was also issued a red card against Mexico in the Nations League semifinals earlier this year, and he will be unavailable for the Nations League semifinals in March.
Bonagura noted he is the first American player since 1990 to be issued two red cards in the same calendar year.
Yet to hear Dest say it in his apology, it won’t happen again.