Seattle (AFP) – Jurgen Klinsmann lashed out at Copa America Centenario officiating, branding the dismissal of key midfielder Jermaine Jones in the United States win over Ecuador as “disgraceful.”
US coach Klinsmann was left counting the cost of a deserved 2-1 quarter-final victory at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field after goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes set up the win.
Jones’ red card for an off-the-ball scuffle with Antonio Valencia means the midfielder will miss next Tuesday’s semi-final in Houston against either Argentina or Venezuela.
Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood will also be suspended for the United States after picking up cautions against Ecuador.
But it was the red card for Jones — who barely touched Valencia during a 51st minute scuffle — that incensed Klinsmann.
“Unfortunately we lost Jermaine for that incident which is an absolute joke,” Klinsmann said.
“Because I was right there — the fourth official made the decision, not the referee, he didn’t see it. He followed the decision of the fourth official. It’s a disgrace, a decision like that.”
Klinsmann said the US would miss the suspended Bedoya and Wood in the semis — but believed the squad had enough depth to cover.
“We’re going to miss them in the semi-finals,” Klinsmann. “Not easy, but they’re a team that has so much desire to grind it out.
“What they did tonight was absolutely outstanding.”