United States Men’s Soccer Team Loses Spot at the World Cup

Patriotic+flags+wave+before+a+USA+Men%27s+soccer+game.
Patriotic flags wave before a USA Men's soccer game.

Patriotic flags wave before a USA Men's soccer game.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Patriotic flags wave before a USA Men's soccer game.

Clarissa Hernandez, Staff Writer

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On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the United States men’s national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, for the first time in three decades, after their 1-2 loss against Trinidad. The World Cup is an international soccer tournament that is held every four years. Two hundred and eleven nations worldwide attempt to qualify for the World Cup, and only thirty two teams earn the privilege to play in this prestigious tournament.

 

Prior to the game against Trinidad, the Americans were ranked 28th worldwide. In order to move on in the tournament, the U.S. needed at least a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad. Trinidad lost six straight qualifier games before facing the United States, so it appeared that the odds were in the Americans’ favor. In the 17th minute, the American defender, Omar Gonzalez, deflected a cross, which resulted in an own goal—a goal scored by shooting the ball into their own team’s goal—that gave Trinidad a 1-0 lead. In the 36th minute, things began to look worse for the United States when Trinidadian defender Alvin Jones shot from outside the penalty box giving Trinidad a 2-0 advantage. At the beginning of the second half, American midfielder Christian Pulisic gave his teammates and fans hope after he scored, making it a one point game. From that point forward, the U.S. kept a high intensity for the rest of the second half. Unfortunately, their efforts were not rewarded as they lost 1-2 and did not qualify to play in the World Cup in Russia.

 

In response to the Americans’ loss, Bruce Arena resigned as head coach of the men’s national team. The result stirred up various responses across the soccer world, including one from former United States national soccer team member and current national broadcaster for Fox Sports Alexi Lalas. “It is a dark time indeed, but this is a time for leaders to step up […] So, what are you guys going to do? Are you going to continue to be a bunch of soft, underperforming tattooed millionaires?” said frustrated Lalas in his broadcast following the game. “You are a soccer generation that has been given everything. You are a soccer generation who is on the verge of squandering everything. So, it’s time to pay it back, make us believe again. You don’t owe it to yourself, you owe it to us.”

 

According to the Pew Research Center, “In the United States, 94.5 million people (about 31% of the population) watched at least 20 consecutive minutes of the last World Cup.” However, it is not known whether this number will change in 2018 as the USA will not be participating at the World Cup in Russia.

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United States Men’s Soccer Team Loses Spot at the World Cup