(Photo credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)
The U.S. men's national team earned a spot in the 2024 Copa America despite a 2-1 loss to Trinidad Tobago in Leg 2 of the CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal on Monday in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The U.S. won the aggregate series 4-2 after a 3-0 win in Austin, Texas, on Thursday. As a result, the Americans also advanced to the semifinals of the Nations League in March, a tournament in which the U.S. is two-time defending champion.
Antonee Robinson put the U.S. ahead in the 25th minute before Trinidad and Tobago took advantage of Sergino Dest's red card in the 39th to take over the match.
Fortunately for the U.S., it had enough of a cushion to withstand the ensuing onslaught because away goals mattered. Robinson's diving header for the lead meant Trinidad and Tobago had to defeat the U.S. by four goals to win the series.
The hosts tried.
Reon Moore tied it in the 43rd minute and Calvin Jones ripped a 35-yard free kick in the 57th to make it interesting.
Dest, who assisted on Robinson's goal, was sent off after his inexplicable actions led to a pair of yellow cards within seconds.
He was upset by an earlier non-call when he believed he was fouled. When play stopped, he punted the ball toward the stands for his first card. His teammates tried to restrain him but he kept barking at the referee and was shown a second caution. Dest is suspended for the semifinal.
The U.S. will host Copa America, which will include 10 teams from CONMEBOL (South America) and six teams from CONCACAF, from June 20 to July 14. The U.S. and three other teams that advance to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals automatically qualify while the quarterfinal losers, including Trinidad and Tobago, will have a play-in matches in March to determine the final two spots.
--Field Level Media