Jurgen Klinsmann joked with reporters after Jozy Altidore saw red in the USMNT’s 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Tuesday, saying he issued a halftime warning to his players about not saying anything critical to match referee Luca Banti.
Altidore’s swearing at Banti after receiving a yellow card for a foul ultimately cost his U.S. side, who had gone up 1-0 on Brek Shea’s free kick just before halftime, with Switzerland finding an equalizer through Valentin Stocker.
The veteran U.S. striker apologized through US Soccer.
“I want to apologize to our fans and my teammates,” he said after the game. “Emotion got the best of me and I put our team in a tough position. That’s not the type of role model I want to be. All credit to the boys for grinding it out and earning a positive result.”
It was out of character for Altidore, who hadn’t received a red card for club or country since he was with AZ Alkmaar in 2012.
The card is still a concern considering that Altidore’s been given the captain’s arm band on occasion by Klinsmann, and it could’ve cost the States even a result. Would an 0-2 international break and 1-5 record through its last six matches feel good right now? Not that 1-4-1 is dynamite, but getting that result — even in a friendly — could turn out to be critical as the USMNT attempts to build momentum.