Copa Centenario organizers threw out the U.S protests over the red card issued to Jermaine Jones and yellow card handed to Bobby Wood a minute apart in the second half of the
USA's 2-1 win over Ecuador in the quarterfinals. Jones, Wood and Alejandro Bedoya are all suspended for Tuesday's semifinal against Argentina in Houston.
U.S. national team coach
Jurgen Klinsmann did not think much of the decision of Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan to send off Jones in the 52nd minute of the Ecuador, calling it an "'absolute joke" and
The incident followed the sending off of Antonio Valencia for his second yellow card. The incident began when Valencia took down Bedoya in front of the USA bench -- a
clear yellow card, Valencia's second of the game, which would have given the USA a man advantage. But as players from both teams raced to Roldan, John Brooks shoved Michael Arroyo in the
back, so when the Ecuadoran turned around to shove back Jones was right there.
Both players had their hands up, but Jones' left got Arroyo in the face, however slightly. Roldan didn't see
it, but the fourth official, Brazilian Wilton Sampaio did, and Jones was red carded for violent conduct.
(Under new IFAB rules implemented for the 2016-17 season, "a player who,
when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was
Before Jones left the field, Roldan allowed play to
resume, and Wood immediately picked up a yellow card for a flying tackle near the midfield sideline on Jaime Ayovi. Klinsmann said the protest was "obvious" as Jones was still 30 yards
from exiting the field.
“[Roldan] should never have given anything," Klinsmann said, "[or should have said], ‘Guys, relax a second and wait a second until the player moves off the
field and then we take it from there.’"
Klinsmann said on Sunday his team fully prepared for Argentina even if he'll have to make three changes in the starting lineup -- four if he
drops Matt Besler for DeAndre Yedlin, who will return for the Argentina game after being suspended against Ecuador.
"There is no need to talk and make Argentina bigger than
they are," he said after the Ecuador win and before Argentina beat Venezuela, 4-1. "We played two years ago [against Cristiano] Ronaldo and that was a big game, too. We were winning 2-1 right
into the 96th minute. We came so far now and we are hungry for the next step, even though we understand it is a big opponent."