Alexi Lalas tells USA to get rid of Sergino Dest 'if you have a replacement as good' after the defender was sent off for a referee meltdown after conceding a throw-in

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Alexi Lalas has told USA coach Gregg Berhalter to ditch Sergino Dest if he thinks he has another player as good as him, after the defender was sent off for a ridiculous reaction to conceding a throw-in.

Dest was yellow carded twice in 30 seconds in Monday's 2-1 Nations League loss to Trinidad & Tobago - first for kicking the ball into the stands after conceding a throw-in, before then arguing with the referee while his teammates tried to restrain him.

He then blew a kiss at the referee, Walter Lopez, after being shown the red card and was slammed by his teammates and Berhalter after the game.

Former USA international Lalas was asked about the incident on X on Tuesday morning and suggested Berhalter should not pick Dest in the near future.

'If you think you have a replacement that is as good or better then you move on from Dest,' Lalas said. 'If not, you yell at him, hope he changes, and accept that, while he could be a problem, the good outweighs the bad.'

Sergino Dest got two yellow cards in 30 seconds for a meltdown at the referee in USA's game against Trinidad & Tobago on Monday night

Tim Ream was visibly furious at USA teammate Dest's reaction towards the referee 

Alexi Lalas has suggested that the US team should move on from selecting Dest in squads 

When asked if he would said anything to Dest, Lalas said: 'Sure, I would have said, 'Get the hell off the field so we can clean up your mess...and I'll deal with you later.''

Fulham defender Tim Ream, one of the USA players who tried to restrain Dest, did not hold back when he was asked about the 23-year-old after the loss.

Ream said: 'Disappointment but I think, overall, it's a complete lack of respect for the guys that are playing and for the guys that are on the bench. It's a feeling of a lack of respect for the game itself, for the referees. 

'We knew, and we talked about it, every time we come down here, every time you're in a CONCACAF game, that anything can happen, so we know not to give an excuse for anything like that to happen.

'So, for me, it's just a feeling of disrespect, to be completely honest with you and that's something that he needs to understand because it completely changes the game and then it completely changes any type of potential plan of guys coming in and subs off the bench. It throws that completely out of whack. So yeah, just disrespect overall.'

Ream said that there had been some hard words in Dest's direction in the locker room after the game.

'I think 'words with him' would be putting it nicely,' Ream explained. 'There were a lot of choice words at halftime, but, at the end of the day, we had to focus on the second half, so we couldn't focus on that situation at the time. 

'Digging in, we had 45 minutes to try to get a result and make sure that we were going to advance in the Nations League and ultimately qualify for the Copa America. There's not not too many things that I can say here publicly that we said privately.'

Lalas said that if Dest was his teammate, he'd have told him to 'get the hell off the field'

Lalas, who was a defender in his playing days, made 96 appearances for the United States 

Berhalter himself said that Dest let the team down but stopped short of saying he wouldn't be in a future USA squad.

'It is concerning because that's not what we want to represent,' Berhalter said. 'That's not who we are as a group. 

'We pride ourselves in staying mentally disciplined, battling through any type of conditions, whether they're good decisions or bad decisions. We're supposed to keep going and respond in an appropriate way, and that obviously wasn't the right response from Sergino.

'He apologized to the group. He said it's not going to happen again. As a team, the players, the staff, we need to hold him accountable because it's inexcusable. It really is. And we were very firm with our words after the game.

'He's a young player. He's a fantastic part of this team. He's going to learn. He's going to grow. He made a dumb mistake. He knows that. He apologized to the team, and we move forward.'

Dest addressed the incident on social media, saying: 'I want to apologize to my Teammates, Staff, Fans and whole nation for my behaviour it was unacceptable, Selfish and immature I let my team down! It’s something I have to learn from and it won’t happen again.'

Dest plays club soccer for Dutch team PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Barcelona, and has played 31 times for the US. The US's backup right-back, Joe Scally, plays for German Bundesliga team Borussia Monchengladbach.

USA keeper Matt Turner remonstrates with Dest as the defender makes his way off the field

Ream said that the locker room was angry with Dest after the loss on Monday evening 

Gregg Berhalter said Dest will learn from the incident and that he's a 'fantastic part' of the team

Dest apologized for his actions after the game on Instagram by saying 'it won't happen again'

The US doesn't play again until March, in the semifinal of the Nations League - advancing to the last four with a 4-2 win on aggregate against Trinidad and Tobago. 

The aggregate victory also seals USA's place in the Copa America next summer.  

Antonee Robinson had put USA ahead in Monday's game but it was Dest's two yellow cards in the 39th minute that prompted Trinidad & Tobago launch a comeback. 

With the US a man short, Reon Moore levelled the score in the 43rd minute. 

Then, Alvin Jones put the 99th-ranked Soca Warriors ahead in the 57th minute with a 30-yard free kick, which went in off the hands of goalkeeper Matt Turner after he tried to parry the swerving shot.

Jones scored a similar long-range goal in October 2017 against Tim Howard in a 2-1 win at Couva, about 20 miles south, that ended the Americans' streak of World Cup appearances at seven.

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