U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann has been banned from the Gold… (Larry W. Smith / EPA )
Juergen Klinsmann will not be on the sidelines Sunday when the U.S. plays Panama in Chicago in the Gold Cup final after the American coach was suspended by a CONCACAF disciplinary committee for his actions in the closing minutes of Wednesday's semifinal win over Honduras.
With the U.S. in control of that match -- which it eventually won, 3-1 -- Klinsmann became angry with Costa Rican referee Walter Quesada, who let rough play by the Hondurans go unchecked. When U.S. captain DaMarcus Beasley was fouled roughly from behind in front of the U.S. bench in the 87th minute, Klinsmann slammed a soccer ball to the turf and shouted at the official, who stopped the match and sent the coach off.
Unlike 2005, when then-U.S. Coach Bruce Arena was red-carded for cussing a referee in a Gold Cup semifinal win over Honduras, Klinsmann was not necessarily disqualified from the final by his actions. That penalty was levied instead by a CONCACAF committee, which reviewed the referee's report and ruled late Friday.
U.S. assistant and former Chivas USA coach Martin Vasquez will manage the team in Klinsmann's absence.
"It was a reaction out of frustration," Klinsmann said. "The fouls started adding up throughout the last half hour. I just kind of overboiled.
"Obviously you shouldn’t then kind of throw the ball on the ground. I apologize for that reaction. It wasn't against the referee, against nobody. It was just frustration.”
The U.S. players quickly closed ranks behind their coach.
"It seemed like they flipped a switch a little bit [after the third U.S. goal] and they started coming after us a little bit," Landon Donovan said of Honduras. "You don’t want to see that. And you’re hoping in that moment the refs really protect you. Because their tournament was over but we’ve got a game to play Sunday."
The U.S. will go into Sunday's final riding a national team-record 10-game winning streak. The match will be the first tournament final for the U.S. in Klinsmann's two years as manager and at stake is an automatic berth in the regional qualifying match for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
If history is any guide, the U.S. should be OK. With Arena watching from the stands, the U.S. beat Panama in the 2005 Gold Cup final on penalty kicks.
The CONCACAF ruling:
"Following a review today by the CONCACAF Disciplinary Committee, in accordance with Article VI.1b of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Regulations, it was decided that United States national team head coach Juergen Klinsmann has been suspended for one match. This decision was reached in accordance with Articles 18.4, 19.1, 19.2 and 20 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
"Mr. Klinsmann was ejected from the technical area for showing dissent towards the referee by throwing the ball in a violent manner during the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match against Honduras on July 24, 2013, in Arlington, Texas, USA.
"His suspension will be served in the USA’s next match, which is scheduled to take place on July 28, 2013, at the Gold Cup final in Chicago.
"This decision cannot be appealed in accordance with the FIFA DC Art. 118"
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