Tim Weah’s loss of composure leads to red card, costs United States at Copa America

ATLANTA (AP) — Tim Weah’s momentary lapse in judgment could become a big blemish on his career.

Especially if the United States fails to advance at the Copa America.

Weah’s straight red card forced the U.S. to play with 10 men for the majority of the game against Panama. The Americans lost 2-1 on Thursday night and are in danger of failing to advance past the first round of their biggest test ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter praised his shorthanded team’s effort, but the Americans — even with a raucous, pro-American crowd cheering them on — couldn’t overcome Weah’s blunder.

“The match-changing event is obviously the red card and it puts us in a tough spot,” Berhalter said. “Tim got bumped. He got checked and he reacted. He apologized to the group and I think he understands what a difficult position he put the group in.”

Weah punched defender Roderick Miller on the head in the 18th minute. The foul was initially ruled a yellow card. But after review, referee Iván Barton upgraded the yellow to a red.

“We talked beforehand about the tendencies of this referee,” Berhalter said. “We knew what he’s capable of, and to be honest, I think we played right into his hands.”

After the game, Weah posted an apology.

“Today I let my team and country down,” Weah said. “A moment of frustration led to an irreversible consequence, and for that, I am deeply sorry to my teammates, coaches, family and our fans. Moving forward, I am committed to learning from this experience, not allowing an opponent to provoke me, and working to regain the trust and respect of my team and supporters.”

It was the second lapse in composure for the U.S. team in seven months. Defender Sergiño Dest got in a needless dispute with a referee, getting a pair of yellow cards for dissent in a 30-second span against Trinidad and Tobago last November.

The U.S. is second in Group C, ahead of Panama on goal difference, but the Americans will be without Weah on Monday against 15-time champion Uruguay and Panama plays a weak Bolivian team.

“We know we have to go out there and get a result, and we’ll go to do that,” Berhalter said. “We believe in this group. It’s a strong team. I think if we stay focused and execute a game plan we’ll be OK.”

Weah’s father, George Weah, was FIFA Player of the Year in 1995 and finished a four-year term as Liberia’s president in January.

His son is now in the spotlight.

“Timmy knows the mistake he made. He’s going to learn from it,” American captain Christian Pulisic said. “It’s a lapse of judgment. It’s just one simple second.”


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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