USMNT will have 3 players suspended for Copa America Centenario semifinals

BY foxsports • June 17, 2016

The United States beat Ecuador, 2-1, on Thursday night in the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals, but it wasn't all good for the Americans. Three players earned suspensions that will keep them out of the semifinals.

Jermaine Jones picked up a red card for striking Michael Arroyo in the face and while Jurgen Klinsmann didn't agree with the call, replays showed that the referee got it right.

As is the case with all red cards, Jones' sending off also leaves him suspended for the following match, which will be Tuesday in the semifinals.

Joining him on the sideline will be Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya, both of whom were shown yellow cards against Ecuador. The duo picked up yellow cards earlier in the tournament and because of Copa America's yellow card accumulation rules, which state that any player with two yellow cards prior to the semifinals will serve a one-match suspension, they will miss the upcoming match as well.

The three absences will be rough on the U.S., who have leaned very heavily on all of them in this tournament. Jones has been a physical force in the midfield, with a Man of the Match performance against Costa Rica. Bedoya's all-around play has been spectacular and his defensive work against Ecuador, helping cover an out-of-position Matt Besler at left, was the key to the Americans' defensive strategy. Meanwhile Wood has grown into a dangerous striker, not only scoring a goal in the tournament, but also holding the ball up, making runs to open space for opponents and serving as a vital outlet for the U.S. when they are under pressure.

It wasn't all bad for the U.S. on the card front, though. Four more players — John Brooks, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson and Michael Orozco — entered Thursday's contest on yellow cards, but were not cautioned so they will be available for the semifinals. And because the card count clears after the quarterfinals, they are not in danger of being suspended with another yellow card in the tournament either. The U.S. also will get DeAndre Yedlin back for the semifinals, after he missed the quarterfinals for the red card he received in the Americans' final group stage match.

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