325 million people live in the United States; 335 thousand people live in Iceland. One of these two countries qualified for the World Cup and, spoiler alert, it was NOT the United States. Last night, USA Soccer choked against Trinidad and failed to qualify for their first World Cup since 1986, proving that the US soccer team is a dumpster fire, top to bottom. Never has a team on its last legs played with less urgency and less effort. Never has a captain shown less leadership. Never has a coach looked more tactically inept.
The United States winning the World Cup, in this day and age, is an absolute pipe dream. You want to see this team become a contender? Then burn it to the ground. Get rid of this embarrassment and start anew. Fire Bruce Arena. Don’t re-elect Sunil Gulati. Stop calling up Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, and company. Get rid of them all.
The entire country made a scapegoat of Jurgen Klinsmann when he was fired, but I can’t imagine he would’ve failed to qualify for the World Cup. Jurgen knew that youth was the way, much better than the washed-up MLS retread that was chosen to replace him. Young players, like Christian Pulisic, are the future of United States soccer, not the likes of Omar Gonzalez. Bruce Arena is too stubborn to adapt, but I suppose the blame shouldn’t be entirely on his shoulders anyway; after all, the United States Soccer Federation and Sunil Gulati were the ones that chose to rehire him, after he already failed once.
The problem goes even deeper than that, though. If you look at a country like Germany, you’ll see that club soccer is easily accessible for their youth and it gives them a backbone of talent to pick from. In the US, club soccer is expensive, unorganized, and generally ignored. If we want to become a power, we have to see a culture shift toward making club soccer more accessible to children. Otherwise, get used to what you’re seeing now. Get used to failure, because you’d be insane to expect anything else from this level of consistency.
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team is a joke – and the other night was the best punchline you could’ve asked for.