In the wake of the biggest American sports failure this century, if not all time, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) must make deep introspection. Football | The Guardian Amazing how one of the two best players on the planet can singlehandedly haul his country to the World Cup.
Until then the United States has learned a harsh lesson about taking things for granted - especially in a sport where our erratic history has never warranted such confidence. They can figure it out.
"There's nothing wrong with what we're doing", he maintained. Speaking on ESPN's SportsCenter, former US worldwide Taylor Twellman went on an epic rant.
Critics of equal pay for women have argued that the men play against much more talented competitors and shouldn't be expected to win against, say, Brazil or Spain, so we can't really compare wins and losses - or pay - on both squads. The last two head coaches of the US Men's National Team haven't cut it, frankly. "You are a soccer generation that has been given everything; you are a soccer generation who's on the verge of squandering everything".
There is no sugar-coating this one.
The U.S. returned to the World Cup in 1990 after a 40-year absence, and soccer grew at an exponential rate, helped by the U.S. hosting the tournament in 1994.
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The U.S. finished qualifying with a 2-1 loss at Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, dropping the Americans (3-4-3) to fifth in CONCACAF's six-team final stage. "Why is the president of the federation responsible for the result on Tuesday?" But here's the thing: The US isn't that great at soccer. "Time for revolution. Need long term plan that is smart". "I'll do whatever is right".
Despite what the MLS boosters claim, MLS is a second-rate league that still serves too often as a retirement community for aging European stars or for US national team players who can no longer cut it in Europe. For the first time in my 17-year-old soccer-loving daughter's life, there will be no US watch parties with teammates.
As my Herald colleague David Neal said, "The World Cup without the U.S.is like going to the prom by yourself". What needs to change? But he's also still a teenager, and inconsistent at times. They won just two games in the last three World Cups - a 1-0 victory over Algeria in 2010 and a 2-1 victory over Ghana in 2014. By losing to Trinidad and Tobago, a scrappy crew and the worst team in this qualifying round, they demonstrated that, in the words of soccer legend and ESPN commentator Julie Foudy, they simply were "not good enough".
There is no coach to blame in this situation.
Bruce Arena was brought in late previous year to replace Jurgen Klinsmann and was given one challenging yet attainable task: Qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. [T&T] played nearly the same team that played against Mexico on Friday, so there's no difference.
The birth of MLS was believed to have finally started to push the US into becoming a soccer country. U.S. Soccer could surely benefit from widening its talent pool to include more blacks and Hispanics, but Lionel Messi is 5-7 and Christian Pulisic weighs 139 pounds.