It’s hard to argue the impact Jozy Altidore’s 68th-minute ejection had in the US national team’s friendly Tuesday against Switzerland.
Just 12 minutes after the big striker was sent off, Switzerland nabbed the equalizer on a Valentin Stocker goal in what ended as a 1-1 draw at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich.
Altidore was booked on successive yellow cards for first fouling Francois Moubandje as he made a run on the wing and then verbally lashing out at Italian referee Luca Banti. It didn’t take long for Altidore to regret his action, apologizing after the match on Twitter.
“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 an unfortunate turn of evens for the Toronto FC Designated Player, who was coming off a goal and assist in the USMNT’s 3-2 loss last week to Denmark. Altidore has two goals in his first two games with TFC.
US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann also offered his thoughts on the ejection of his go-to forward, recalling to reporters, with a smile: "I told the players, even at halftime, ‘Guys, you can do probably fouls, you can do certain things, but you can’t joke with an Italian referee. It’s unfortunate but it happened and when you get sent off for a verbal comment with an Italian referee, then you get your punishment."