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Altidore apologizes for red card woes: “Not the type of role model I want to be”


United States’ Jozy Altidore (3rd L) argues with referee Luca Banti (2nd L) after receiving a red card on March 31, 2015 during a friendly football match between Switzerland and the United States at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

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.

[MORE: Match recap | Player ratings | 3 things]

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.

Follow @NicholasMendola