Emotions were high for the United States men’s national team after its 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Monday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Not only did the loss eliminate the U.S. from Copa América — making it the first-ever host nation to not advance past the group stage — but the game was marred by controversial calls, including one that upheld Uruguay’s lone goal, which appeared to be offside.

After the final whistle, U.S. star Christian Pulisic walked over to the head referee, Kevin Ortega, and asked him to “come to the middle” of the pitch where the players were. Pulisic proceeded to walk toward the officials to shake their hands and Ortega refused his gesture.

Many have speculated that Ortega took offense to Pulisic’s comments, which could be taken as Pulisic saying he should be celebrating with Uruguay for his role in their win. Others have suggested that Pulisic simply wanted the referees to come closer to the players.

This isn’t the first time Ortega has been at the center of controversy. In 2022, at the Copa Libertadores, Ortega was criticized for awarding Boca Juniors with a controversial penalty. Following the match, Bolivian police found Boca Juniors jerseys in Ortega’s booth, which he said was a customary gesture by the winning team.

Ortega is a Peruvian who has been an international referee for FIFA since 2019. Before that, he was a referee in the Peruvian Primera División for four years.

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

United States

Copa América

Get more from United States Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

Source link