The United States men’s soccer team (Team USA) will not be participating in next year’s World Cup soccer tournament after being humiliated by mighty Trinidad and Tobago.
It was a crushing loss for a team that was hoping to build on their 2014 performance in Brazil which many hoped would be the breakthrough that would finally make soccer as popular in the United States as it is in the rest of the world.
But alas, the team choked and will miss out on the global tournament for the first time in over three decades.
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 11, 2017
Via The Guardian “Woeful USA fail to make 2018 World Cup after loss to Trinidad & Tobago”:
After one of the most devastating nights in the history of American soccer, the US will not be going to Russia next summer after a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Trinidad & Tobago saw them finish fifth in Concacaf World Cup qualifying.
It was going to take an unlikely combination of results for the US to miss out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986, and that is exactly what happened, though the Americans only have themselves to blame for squandering a strong position with this catastrophic performance.
“We didn’t qualify for the World Cup,” Arena said after the game. “That was my job. To get the team qualified for the World Cup. This game in my view was perfectly positioned for the US team and we failed on the day. We have no excuses. We failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point.”
When the Americans went behind to the Hexagonal group’s bottom team and were unable to find an equaliser, they needed help from others. That made for a bitter twist: where four years ago Mexico were grateful to their arch-rivals for a result that saved them from disaster, here the US were hoping for a favour from Mexico.
They did not get it, as Mexico lost 3-2 to Honduras, while a late goal from Panama to beat Costa Rica 2-1 pushed the US out of fourth place, which would have sent them into a two-legged playoff with Australia next month (replays later showed that Panama’s first goal didn’t appear to cross the line).
So, for the want of an equaliser against T&T, there will be no eighth successive World Cup finals appearance for the US, dealing a significant setback to the sport’s progress in the country. The failure is surely the end for head coach Bruce Arena and some of the senior players.
It is probably better this way considering that the 2018 World Cup games will be held in Russia and the presence of Team USA would have led to some of the most insane anti-Putin propaganda yet as well as brought forth jingoism of the worst type.
Now people can just watch the games without the distraction even if the U.S. didn’t qualify. The World Cup is one of the greatest events is sports and it’s a shame that it only takes place every four years.