U.S. Men’s soccer has always taken a backseat to the dominance and prominence of the multiple World Cup winning women's team. Overall, soccer's struggles for high profile notoriety in the United States and the National Team's attempt to kick its way out of decades of international mediocrity, took a major step back on Tuesday.
In fact, the men’s team won’t even get a chance to find out if they can finish higher than third place, which is their best finish in World Cup history and was accomplished in 1930.
The World Cup ended for the United States in October. It doesn't get much worse than this. https://t.co/D1CfxEHGLG
Twenty-eight years after the United States ended a four-decade World Cup absence with a stunning victory at Trinidad, the Americans' chances for the 2018 tournament in Russia ended in a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago, the 99th-ranked team in the world on Tuesday night.
The loss not only crushed America’s soccer dreams, it ended a glorious run of seven straight American appearances at soccer's showcase.
As the U.S. choked away its chances for a World Cup appearance, it had to depend on Panama and Honduras both losing to still sneak into the tourney back door. It didn't happen.
"It's a blemish for us," coach Bruce Arena said. "We should not be staying home for this World Cup and I take the responsibility for that."
That game was played before a crowd of 35,000-plus at National Stadium in the capital of Port-of-Spain.
The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989.The program has struggled and failed to meet expectations. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica caused the U.S. Soccer Federation to fire former coach Jurgen Klinsmann and bring back Arena, the U.S. coach from 1998-2006. But after a loss to Costa Rica in New Jersey last month, it was clear that the coach wasn’t the problem.
Soccer fans in the United States are infuriated and can't take the futility of the U.S. men's team any more.
@TaylorTwellman apoplectic on ESPN News right now. Great stuff. https://t.co/yEXI1tDpTB
The U.S. needs to develop some better soccer players. In a country that has as many diverse groups of citizens as any in the world, it’s almost unfathomable that the U.S. can’t field one of the world’s best soccer teams. The National Team's failure to make the World Cup is also a major blow to the USSF, which incrementally and effectively heightened the popularity of the sport in the past 25 years with the help of sponsors and television partners and the iconic success of the women’s team.
FOX will also suffer from the absence of the men’s team, FOX will broadcast the next three World Cups after taking the U.S. rights from ESPN. Not having the U.S. team in the tournament is sure to hurt ratings.
Time for the USSF to get to work. The U.S. men’s squad is not serious contenders on the international soccer scene. Can’t have the women’s team doing all of the heavy lifting. They don’t even get paid on par with their male counterparts
The Internet Crushes The US Men's Soccer Team For Failing To Qualify For The World Cup After Stunning Loss https://t.co/33rj4ojbFH
"Every time you have a setback you have to look at things, re-evaluate and get better," 38-year-old U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. "And as a program we have to get better...There's some good teams on the up and up and we've got our work cut out for us."
That would be an understatement.