The United States Men’s National Soccer Team suffered horrible embarrassment by not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1986. This is a unique problem for America seeing as it was always just assumed that we would qualify for the World Cup and lose somewhere along the way. In fact, the last World Cup in 2014 saw the USMNT surprise everyone by reaching the round of 16 only to lose a thriller to Belgium that saw them win after scoring twice in extra time. That was definitely a huge shock considering just how many talented big names were in Belgium and how little were on the USMNT. Belgium had the names of Marouane Fellaini, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelo Lukaku while Tim Howard was the only star for the United States.
This year was supposed to be an exciting one for the UNited STates. They were coming back off of the impressive World Cup play from four years ago and would hopefully improve upon that to maybe progress to the round of 8. Honestly though, even reaching the round of 16 again would be a huge accomplishment for that team. However, none of that is going to happen after the United States played a horrible game that saw them lose to Trinidad & Tobago 2-1. This is the same score of their highly impressive loss to Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. The big difference is that the 2014 loss was a huge accomplishment and the loss to Trinidad & Tobago wasn’t just a huge disappointment, it was an embarrassment. We were supposed to get better, but instead, we have gotten worse. Much worse.
What makes this loss so hard to take and so frustrating is the fact that the USMNT does have talent and quality, we just have a hard time utilizing it correctly. We have Christian Pulisic who is a wunderkind that is currently playing in Germany for the excellent squad Borussia Dortmund. Soccer has never been bigger in the United States and this is the time to capitalize on it. However, instead of capitalizing on it we just decided to trot basically the same team out on the field with an old manager, Bruce Arena and played a terrible game against a team that shouldn’t play us close at all.
The CONCACAF is a joke in the international soccer world and not being able to qualify in such an easy division is unbelievable. With how big of a country the US is and with all of the money we spend on soccer we should be able to put together a better soccer team than Costa Rica, Panama or Honduras, all of which finished higher in the table than we did. There is no way we should have lost to such a terrible team last night. It is time to fire the manager and let all of the 40-year-olds on the roster go. We need to start growing a good soccer team from the youth and stop trotting out the same losers so we can be disappointed again and again. We put together one fairytale run in 2014 but those fairytale days are clearly over.