By Leander Schaerlaeckens
ARLINGTON, Texas – USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann could miss Sunday’s Gold Cup final after being dismissed for complaining and slamming down the ball after a series of non-calls in the United States’ 3-1 semifinal win against Honduras.
Since there is no such thing as a red card for managers, only straight ejections, suspensions are not automatic and a disciplinary committee will take referee Walter Quesada’s match report into consideration and deliver a verdict within 24 to 48 hours, according to a CONCACAF spokesman.
In the 87th minute of the match, with the score at 3-1 in the USA’s favor, DaMarcus Beasley looked to have been fouled after losing control of the ball, which went out of play for a Honduras throw-in. An enraged Klinsmann had a few choice words for the referee, gesticulating and possibly swearing in multiple languages until the official sent him out of his coach’s box.
“It was just a reaction out of frustration because fouls had added up throughout the last half an hour, one really, really bad right before our third goal,” Klinsmann explained following the game. “And then came this foul on [DaMarcus] Beas[ley] with two guys going into him from behind and I just kind of overboiled it.”
Klinsmann chuckled at that point, having long since returned to his invariably laid back demeanor. Then he turned apologetic. “Obviously you shouldn’t then throw the ball down on the ground,” he said. “I apologize for that reaction. It was not meant against the referee, against nobody. It was just frustration because you fear the health of the player in that moment.”
“He sticks up for us players, so I don’t have any complaints about that,” said Beasley, the captain.
Yet for the coach’s contrition, his fate is at the mercy of other men. “That would not be good for us,” star forward Landon Donovan said of a possible suspension. “We’re very hopeful that that’s not the case. You never want to see a player or a coach suspended for a final so hopefully whoever reviews that takes that into consideration. Sometimes that happens in the game and we’ve all made those sorts of decisions at times so hopefully it doesn’t affect us.”
“It’s going to be a loss if he’s not with us on the sideline,” Beasley said. “But at the same time, he’ll be with us in spirit if he’s not there. I’m sure he’ll be cheering us on wherever he’s sitting.”