US soccer condemns racist abuse after loss to Panama

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US soccer condemns racist abuse after loss to Panama, My Football Facts

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By Martin Graham | 28th Jun 2024

The United States Soccer Federation has strongly criticized the racist online abuse directed at several players after a 2-1 loss to Panama in the Copa America. Monaco forward Folarin Balogun, Crystal Palace defender Chris Richards, and Juventus teammates Timothy Weah and Weston McKennie were all targeted online after the Group C match held in Atlanta.

In a statement on X, US Soccer expressed that such hateful and discriminatory behavior is intolerable and goes against the organization’s values of respect and inclusivity. The federation emphasized that racism has no place in the sport.

Match events and player reactions

The match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium saw a significant turning point when Timothy Weah was given a red card in the 18th minute for striking Panama’s Roderick Miller in an off-the-ball incident. The 24-year-old winger, formerly of Lille, later apologized to his team, citing a moment of frustration as the cause for his actions.

Despite being down a player, the US managed to take the lead with an impressive goal from Balogun, marking his fifth goal in 14 appearances for the national team. However, the lead was short-lived as Panama’s Cesar Blackman equalized just four minutes later with a shot from the edge of the box.

Ranked 43rd by FIFA, Panama continued to apply pressure, and their efforts paid off when Jose Fajardo scored the winning goal seven minutes before the end. The US, ranked 11th, showed strong defensive efforts but could not withstand Panama’s persistent attacks.

Late in the game, Panama’s Adalberto Carrasquilla was also sent off for a reckless challenge on Christian Pulisic, reducing both teams to ten players.

Group C standings and upcoming fixtures

Following this result, both the US and Panama are tied on points in Group C. The US, co-hosts of the 2026 men’s World Cup along with Canada and Mexico, currently has a superior goal difference and needs to match Panama’s result in their final group match to advance to the last 16. The US will face Uruguay on July 2nd at 02:00 BST, while Panama will play against Bolivia.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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