In a shocking match Tuesday night, the US Men’s National Team fell to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, which, with other results in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, eliminated them from making the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
I’m going to be completely honest in this post. I’m truly embarrassed to be a US Soccer fan this evening. The USMNT entered tonight with a 93% chance to go to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They were a lock. All they had to do was beat Trinidad and Tobago. Hell, we could’ve even settled for a draw. The one thing we couldn’t do was lose to the worst team in the Hexagonal round. So, in true USMNT fashion, we did.
This loss came after one of the US’s most definitive victories this decade, a 4-0 triumph over Panama, who had been playing phenomenal defense up to that point. I’d argue it was one of the best games I’ve ever seen the USMNT play. The momentum clearly didn’t carry over. This team came out flat. They went down early with an own goal, and then conceded another one before going into the half with a 2-0 deficit. They were never able to recover.
What does this mean for the future of US Soccer? Nothing good. Fans were hoping for a decent showing in this year’s World Cup to prove that our rebuilding program was truly on the rise. We wanted to prove that our young talented strikers like Bobby Wood and Christian Pulisic could compete on the world stage, especially after not getting a chance to in 2016, when the US failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. We just wanted a chance to bleed red, white, and blue again, and to escape an inevitable ‘group of death’ for the umpteenth straight time.
But, as with all things US Men’s Soccer, they let us down again. Will the US Head Coach Bruce Arena likely be fired in the near future? Yep. Will there be roster changes? Yep. Will I care? Nope. Nothing can make up for what the USMNT just pulled. They’ve once again killed the hopes and dreams of a nation.