Alexi Lalas has told US coach Gregg Berhalter to dump Sergino Dest if he thinks he has another player as good as him, after the defender was sent off for a ridiculous reaction to allowing of a throw-in.
Dest received two yellow cards within 30 seconds in the 2-1 Nations League defeat against Trinidad & Tobago on Monday. First for kicking the ball into the stands after receiving a throw-in, before getting into an argument with the referee as his teammates tried to restrain him.
He then blew a kiss to the referee, Walter Lopez, after being shown the red card and was punched by his teammates and Berhalter after the match.
Former American international Lalas was asked about the incident on Tuesday morning on X and suggested that Berhalter should not choose Dest in the near future.
“If you think you have a replacement who is as good or better, leave Dest,” Lalas said. “If he doesn’t, you yell at him, hope he changes, and accept that while he may be a problem, the good outweighs the bad.”
Sergino Dest received two yellow cards within 30 seconds due to a breakdown by the referee in the American match against Trinidad & Tobago on Monday evening
Tim Ream was visibly furious at US teammate Dest’s reaction to the referee
Alexi Lalas has suggested that the US team should move away from selecting Dest in squads
When asked if he would say anything to Dest, Lalas said: “Of course, I would have said, ‘Get the fuck off the field so we can clean up your mess… and I’ll deal with you later.’ ”
Fulham defender Tim Ream, one of the American players trying to contain Dest, did not hold back when asked about the 23-year-old after the loss.
Ream said: “Disappointment, but I think overall it’s a total lack of respect for the guys playing and the guys on the bench. It’s a feeling of disrespect for the game itself, for the referees.
“We knew, and we talked about it every time we came here, every time you play in a CONCACAF match, that anything can happen, so we know we can’t give excuses when something like that happens.
“So to me it’s just a sense of disrespect, to be completely honest with you, and that’s something he needs to understand because it completely changes the game and then it changes every possible plan of guys coming in and going out complete. the couch. It throws that completely out of control. So yeah, just disrespect in general.”
Ream said some harsh words were said towards Dest in the locker room after the game.
“I think ‘words with him’ would put it nicely,” Ream explained. “There were a lot of choice words at half-time, but ultimately we had to concentrate on the second half, so we couldn’t concentrate on that situation at the time.
“When we dug into it, we had 45 minutes to try and get a result and make sure we would go through in the Nations League and ultimately qualify for the Copa America. There are not too many things I can say here publicly that we have said privately.”
Lalas said if Dest was his teammate he would have told him to ‘get the hell off the field’
Lalas, who was a defender in his playing days, played 96 games for the United States
Berhalter himself said Dest let the team down, but stopped short of saying he wouldn’t be in a future U.S. squad.
“It’s concerning because that’s not what we want to represent,” Berhalter said. ‘That’s not who we are as a group.
“We pride ourselves on staying mentally disciplined and fighting through all circumstances, whether they are good or bad decisions. The idea is to move on and respond appropriately, and that clearly wasn’t the right response from Sergino.
“He apologized to the group. He said it won’t happen again. As a team, the players and the staff, we have to hold him accountable because that is inexcusable. It is real. And we were very firm in our words after the game.
‘He is a young player. He is a fantastic part of this team. He’s going to learn. He’s going to grow. He made a stupid mistake. He knows that. He apologized to the team and we are moving on.”
Dest discussed the incident on social media, saying: “I would like to apologize to my teammates, staff, fans and the entire nation for my behavior. It was unacceptable, selfish and immature. I let my team down! It’s something I have to learn from and it won’t happen again.’
Dest plays club football for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Barcelona, and has made 31 appearances for the US. American backup right back, Joe Scally, plays for German Bundesliga team Borussia Mönchengladbach.
American goalkeeper Matt Turner protests to Dest as the defender leaves the field
Ream said that the locker room was angry with Dest after the loss on Monday evening
Gregg Berhalter said Dest will learn from the incident and that he is a ‘fantastic part’ of the team
Dest apologized for his actions after the match on Instagram, saying ‘it won’t happen again’
The US don’t play again until March, in the Nations League semi-final, and progress to the last four with a 4-2 aggregate win against Trinidad and Tobago.
The aggregate victory also seals the US’s place in next summer’s Copa America.
Antonee Robinson had given USA the lead in Monday’s match, but it was Dest’s two yellow cards in the 39th minute that saw Trinidad & Tobago launch a comeback.
With the US one man short, Reon Moore leveled the score in the 43rd minute.
Then Alvin Jones put the 99th-placed Soca Warriors ahead in the 57th minute with a 30-yard free-kick, which ended up in the hands of goalkeeper Matt Turner after he tried to parry the swerve.
Jones scored a similar long-range goal in October 2017 against Tim Howard in a 2-1 win over Couva, about 20 miles south, ending the Americans’ run of World Cup appearances at seven.