Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

ATLANTA — Tim Weah was issued a red card and sent off in the first half of the U.S. men’s national team’s second Copa América match against Panama after swinging his arm at defender Roderick Miller in the 18th minute.

The ruling came after a VAR review, leaving the Americans to play the final 72 minutes with 10 men. The U.S. went on to lose the game, 2-1, and now faces an uphill battle to advance to the knockout stage. On top of that, Weah will miss at least the USMNT’s final group stage match against Uruguay on Monday.

Weah took to social media after the game to apologize for letting his team down, writing, in part: “A moment of frustration led to an irreversible consequence, and for that I am deeply sorry to my teammates, coaches, family and our fans.”

He also wrote that he would learn from the moment, and that he would work to regain the trust of his team and supporters.

“My love for this team goes beyond just football,” he continued, “and I’m so sad and angry at myself for putting my brothers through what they went through tonight.”

Weah’s frustration may have been a response to a scary collision that happened just a few minutes prior when Panama’s Cesar Blackman ran into Matt Turner — though he did not mention it in his apology. 

The U.S. goalkeeper jumped up to make a save, but after contact with Blackman, Turner landed hard on his right shoulder and was down on the turf for a few moments. USMNT trainers ran out to evaluate Turner, who eventually got up and appeared to be OK. Backup Ethan Horvath was warming up on the sideline during this time, just in case.

Blackman did not receive a yellow card on the play, which may have riled up Weah, the U.S. team and the pro-USMNT crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

To follow up all that commotion, in the 22nd minute, Jedi Robinson intercepted a pass in the box and striker Folarin Balogun ran onto it, sending a left-footed shot into the back of the net to give the USMNT a 1-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long, however, with Panama leveling the score in the 26th minute.

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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