The U.S. defender, who earned his third cap with the team, believes he made the right play on the ball before being sent off with a red card.PANAMA CITY, Panama -- The only thing Geoff Cameron is guilty of is allowing a player to get behind him down the middle of the pitch, according to the U.S. defender.
In the 52nd minute of the U.S. team's win over Panama, Cameron was clearly beat by Blas Perez and appeared to have pulled down the forward outside the 18-yard box. He was sent off with a red card on a play that likely should have resulted in a yellow instead.
"If he had contact him, then it's the right call. If it didn't happen, then it's the wrong call," said coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who admitted he hadn't yet seen the replay. "We'll take it the way it is because we can't change it anyway."
Cameron, on the other hand, apparently did see the replay and says the Mexican referee, Francisco Chacon, made an error by ejecting him from the game.
"You can look a the replay and take a look for yourself. I don't think it's a red card," said Cameron, who also insisted that he made the right play.
"I don't think I'd do anything different. You just have to look at the replay yourself, I'm not going to say anything. But when I got the ball back he fell over me, obviously looking for a foul."
So, he's saying Perez took a dive?
"I think so," he said.
It wasn't the way Cameron would have liked to have ended his third cap with the team. It had been nearly two years before playing 90 minutes against Venezuela last Saturday. Now, his lasting impression leading into next month's friendly against Italy could be the takedown.
"It's unfortunate and obviously I'm disappointed," he said. "But I'm really happy all my teammates put all the effort in and they stuck together to end up with two wins this week, which is a great result for us. Looking forward, I hope I get another opportunity."
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made some nice saves after coming in at halftime for Nick Rimando, who also had his share of action on the night. And it was a positive team win despite the late drama in an unfamiliar place.
"It's huge being able to manage a game and coming away with three points while one goal up and a man down," Johnson said.