‘Emotions are running high’ – Pulisic at centre of controversy after USA’s Copa America exit

By Oliver Fisher -

Christian Pulisic and the United States were dumped out of the Copa America last night and they lost 1-0 against Uruguay to mean they exited at the group stage.

Having won their opening game 2-0 against Bolivia – a game in which Pulisic got a goal, an assist and Man of the Match – the USA were in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages.

However, disaster struck against Panama as they let a 1-0 lead slip after Tim Weah’s red card, and the captain admitted after the game how much it hurt. The reason for that is partly because the final group game was against Uruguay, and it became virtually a must-win.

The host nation were indeed eliminated in the group stage after a defeat during the night at the hands of Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay, but as Radio Rossonera write there was some anger on Pulisic’s part about the way the game was officiated.

It was The Athletic that reported the reasons for the US national team’s anger towards referee Kevin Ortega as he ‘seemed to lack the ability and experience to manage a match at a high pace’.

The most controversial episode occurred towards the end of the first half, when a misjudgment on an advantage given to the US thwarted an obvious counter-attack by Pulisic and his teammates.

After the final whistle, the winger seemed to invite the three officials to celebrate together with Uruguay, and the referee Kevin Ortega refused to shake hands with the Milan player, sparking controversy in the States.

After the match that sealed the elimination from the Copa America, Pulisic himself commented on the USA’s performance in an interview with FOX.

“It’s difficult to say right now, obviously the emotions are running high. I mean we had a good start and brought a lot of energy but at the end of the day, just not enough quality. I felt like we gave it everything but just couldn’t find solutions to score,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk too much about the ref. It does get frustrating but yeah, that’s what this tournament is about, so we just have to do our best to cope with it.”


Tags AC Milan Christian Pulisic


  1. Officials didn’t lose USA the match – but dang, they made it extremely difficult for them to win. and I’m no VAR lover or hater, but you gotta look up the Uruguay goal…

    1. Goal aside, a draw would not have suited US and ultimately they didn’t do enough to win. Berhalter isn’t a very good coach and his tweaks for the game were useless… He didn’t achieve anything with this generation of USMNT players.

      US Soccer Federation is equally to blame here having brought him back, settling for mediocrity again.

      1. There’s a budgetary reason Team USA can’t bring in some bigger name coaches, namely it’s stipulated whatever the mens coach gets paid, the women’s coach has to get paid.

        So if they get in a coach on 3mn/ year they have to pay the women’s coach 3mn/year and USA soccer just doesn’t make the income to justify this. Their hands are tied.

        1. Dumbest decision the USSF made. They bowed to social justice warriors who couldn’t name 3 US woman players if they tried.

  2. Look, the US lost and it wasn’t due to the ref. That said, this ref was just corrupt. I’m sorry if I was a player I would have taken out a player as there were so many missed calls and dangerous plays. Nunez would have been tackled high and hard for his scissor tackle that wasn’t called.

      1. Haha welcome guys, this is football. The ref can have a big impact on the game, it’s happening all the time. I have in mind the 2005 UCL final, dubious penalty kick on Gerrard and a goal disallowed for Sheva. The same Sheva got another goal disallowed the following year against Barcelona in UCL semi-finals. And VAR didn’t change anything, far from it. Just watch the Euro. But I understand your frustration as it happens to any team over time. I’m quite disappointed with Pulisic here though.

  3. Yes, the ref is not why the U.S. lost this match, but that was the worst officiating i have ever seen. Terrible calls all going against the U.S. of course all the refs were South American, This is a corrupt tournament. The worst was when he pulls out the yellow card and then lets Urugauy keep playing once the US had stopped allowing the player to go in alone on goal. It was an abomination.

  4. The U.S. doesn’t have enough depth to compete without Weah and a full-strength Tyler Adams. With Weah, who is not all that great but has significant pace, they are one of the pacier teams, and that compensates for many other weaknesses. Gio Reyna is worthless, but GB feels like he has to play him because of the scandal . Pulisic played with courage and did everything except sell drinks and tickets.
    The ref was indeed corrupt, and the call against Tyler Adams was atrocious. But the U.S. was not good enough without Weah and Balogun

  5. USA has Panama problems, and costa rica problems, and so on. That’s why they’re out. Get to the last game in the group and they need a miracle.
    Berhalter is a better politician than manager. lousy in tournaments.


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