During Sunday's Concacaf Nations League final, U.S. men's national team star Gio Reyna was pelted by a bottle thrown from the stands and needed assistance from the team's medical staff.
The incident occurred immediately after midfielder Christian Pulisic made a go-ahead penalty kick in extra time to give the USMNT a 3-2 lead. Minutes later, Mexico won a penalty of its own following a VAR check of a handball on U.S. defender Mark McKenzie, but Andres Guardado's try was stopped by Ethan Horvath.
"It has no place in the game, spectators throwing objects onto the field. Total lack of respect for what's happening on the field and all the effort that both teams were putting into the game. So really disappointing to see. [Reyna is] going to be O.K, but he did take something to the head and it could've been a lot worse," U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said of the incident.
Reyna scored the first goal for the U.S. in the first half off of a corner kick from Pulisic that evened the score a 1-1. It was his third international goal for the senior team.
After Reyna was hit with the bottle, play had to be stopped minutes later when fans ran onto the field and had to be taken off by security. That resulted in several minutes of stoppage time being added to an already lengthy contest.
Empower Field management announced Monday the bottle thrower was arrested after being identified by stadium security footage. Along with criminal charges, the individual will be banned from all future events at Empower Field at Mile High.
Sunday's incident came after multiple similar ones occurred during the NBA playoffs. A Celtics fan threw a bottle at Nets guard Kyrie Irving as he walked into the tunnel during their first round series, while a Knicks fan spit at Hawks guard Trae Young at Madison Square Garden. A fan ran onto the court at Capital One Arena during a Wizards-76ers game, and another poured popcorn on Wizards guard Russell Westbrook during a different game.
The U.S. went on to defeat Mexico, 3-2, to take home the trophy.
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