The United States lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night. Thanks to their loss, the U.S. finished 5th in CONCACAF qualifying and will not participate in the 2018 World Cup.
According to The Washington Post, this is the first time the U.S. has failed to qualify since 1986.
Fans and pundits immediately began calling for the resignations of manager Bruce Arena and U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati. An emotional rant from ESPN’s Taylor Twellman began making the rounds on social media soon after the match.
While the U.S. only missed qualifying because of their loss and two upset wins by Honduras and Panama, everyone involved with U.S. soccer knows the U.S. should never have been in this situation in the first place.
Trinidad and Tobago were the weakest team remaining in CONCACAF. Prior to their victory over the U.S, they had won only one of their nine previous matches.
However, Omar Gonzalez gifted them an own goal to open the scoring. Alvin Jones added a second goal for Trinidad and Tobago toward the end of the first half.
Christian Pulisic was able to get one back for the United States at the start of the second half. However, Pulisic’s goal did not ignite a U.S. comeback.
Even though Trinidad and Tobago technically had nothing to play for, they were not content to simply defend against the U.S. They created some excellent chances in the second half.
Although Clint Dempsey and Bobby Wood were able to create some chances in the closing moments of the match, it simply was not to be.
“It’s a blemish for us,” Arena admitted. “We should not be staying home for this World Cup.”
Gulati added, “Tonight is for getting over the shock a little bit. In some sense, 2022 starts tomorrow.”
Whether Arena or Gulati will be involved in the qualifying campaign for 2022 remains to be seen.