Photo Credit: REBECCA BLACKWELL/ASSOCIATED PRESS – New York Times
For the first time since 1986, the United States’ men’s soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup after a 1-2 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. It was a horrific loss that shows how far the national soccer team has fallen since the near win over Portugal during he 2014 World Cup.
Trinidad is the worst team in CONCACAF and the US couldn’t find away to force a draw offensively, or defensively keep the ball away from their own net…especially late. That’s a disaster for a team that has Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley on it. There is no excuse for for this rosters inability to qualify for the World Cup or even to force a draw against Trinidad and Tobago.
But it’s not just the players that deserve the blame for this disaster, their coach Bruce Arena failed to motivate them sufficiently enough for this game.
It’s also a failure of the leadership in US Soccer to be able to address the obvious disinterest from the team and its coaching staff. Through the Gold Cup to the World Cup qualifiers, the team struggled with consistency on the pitch and was often out played…even if they won the game. The management of US Soccer has been atrocious heading into this World Cup qualifiers; and it showed up in this match.
Going forward, there is going to be some soul searching that needs to occur for the organization and the men’s soccer team going forward. If they don’t take a deep look at the culture surrounding US men’s soccer, the disappointing losses are going to continue to mount.