A former star of the United States men’s national soccer team has given the current side an epic spray over their failure to qualify for the World Cup.
USA's 2-1 loss to the bottom team in the CONCACAF group, Trinidad and Tobago, meant for the first time in 32 years the Americans failed to make the World Cup finals.
On a dramatic final night of qualifying, Honduras beat Mexico 3-2 and Panama beat Costa Rica 2-1, consigning the USA to fifth spot in the group and out of contention.
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Players reportedly broke down in tears after the final whistle. The failure was incomprehensible even to them. The stunning series of events was the only one that could have eliminated the USA.
The situation didn't go down well with American fans and analysts.
Retired USA player-turned TV pundit for ESPN Taylor Twellman was particularly scathing in his post-match analysis and he took aim at just about everyone involved in American soccer.
Watch the epic spray in the video at the top.
The U.S. men and women had previously qualified for every World Cup since 1990 – since Paul Caligiuri scored a golazo on Trinidadian soil to kickstart American soccer’s rise.
The men had qualified with ease the last three cycles. But they lost their two opening matches under Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann paid for those failures with his job.
Bruce Arena was brought in to steady the ship, and at first he did. But over the past two months, everything went awry.
They especially went awry on Tuesday. The first 45 minutes were arguably America's worst of the qualifying campaign. The Yanks created few chances. They were plodding. They were shockingly poor.
Even with a 2-0 deficit, the U.S. was in a comfortable position going into halftime, but only because Mexico led Honduras 2-1 and Costa Rica led Panama 1-0.
Those results, even coupled with a U.S. loss, would have sent the Yanks to Russia, in third place.
But the other two results would not hold. Honduras scored twice shortly after halftime to send American fans into panic mode. Panama also scored around the same time.
At that point, the USA was headed for the fourth-place playoff.
Around that same time, Christian Pulisic pulled a goal back for the USA.
A draw would have been enough to send the U.S. to Russia, regardless of other scores. So the Americans continued to press forward. Clint Dempsey, who came on as a substitute at halftime, hit the post with a left-footed strike with 15 minutes remaining. He had a close-range header saved in the 88th minute.
Trinidad and Tobago, though, also had its chances, and easily could have made it 3-1. The Americans played unfathomably poorly.
The same team that beat Panama 4-0 on Friday, with exactly the same lineup, was disjointed and lethargic.
In the end, the U.S. could not find an equaliser, which left its hopes hanging by a thread with Honduras winning and Panama one goal away from eliminating the Americans.
Panama then found that goal, knocking the USA out of contention. Done. Eliminated.