Jones set to miss rest of Copa America after dubious red card

The U.S. midfielder was issued a straight red card for allegedly striking an Ecuadorian player in the face, and is set to miss the rest of Copa America.

SEATTLE — Jermaine Jones was in the midst of another strong performance in Copa America when he got involved in a skirmish that led him to receive the first red card of his national team career.

The incident, which took place after Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia wiped out Alejandro Bedoya with a late kick on the sidelines, saw Valencia issued a second yellow card while Jones was ejected.

"Unfortunately we lost Jermaine for the incident, which is an absolute joke, because it was right there and the fourth referee made the decision. Not the referee," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "The referee didn't see it. He followed the advice off the fourth official out there and it's a disgrace a decision like that."

A slow motion replay appears to show Arroyo push Jones' arms as Jones raised his arms to protect himself. Jones appears to make a punching motion, but makes no contact with Arroyo.

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"These games, emotion, passion, all these things come into it," U.S. captain Michael Bradley said. "I think on another day he probably walks away with a yellow (card). It’s certainly unfortunate."

U.S. Soccer is considering appealing the red card, a spokesman confirmed to Goal USA. If there is no appeal, Jones would be ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.

Jones has started all four matches for the U.S. in Copa America, meaning Klinsmann will need to figure out how to replace his contributions in midfield. That won't be easy, but veteran midfielder Kyle Beckerman is a good candidate for the job, having come into Thursday's match and put in a solid 15-minute shift. Perry Kitchen is another candidate.

Whoever gets the call could wind up facing a daunting task against Argentina, if Argentina beats Venezuela in the Copa America quarterfinals. Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood are set to miss the semifinals through suspensions, which will mean opportunities for players such as Beckerman, Graham Zusi and potentially Darlington Nagbe.

"Any time you don’t have players available, it’s always you feel bad for them," Dempsey said. "But at the end of the day we have a lot of character in this team and the people that are called upon they’ve got to stand up and keep pushing."