USMNT fails to qualify for Russia 2018

Submitted by MGoPoe on October 10th, 2017 at 10:02 PM

Lose 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago coupled with Honduras beating Mexico 3-2 and Panama beating Costa Rica 2-1 spells doom for the US.  2022 starts now!


Da Fino

October 11th, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^

Agree we need to have a full re-evaluation of strategy and personnel.

Off topic here, but does anyone else see a resemblence between Bruce Arena and the plant from Little Shop of Horrors?  I was watching the match last night and it just kinda struck me.

Bando Calrissian

October 11th, 2017 at 10:37 AM ^

I'll take a temporary structure being attached to an existing stadium over "let's build a fleet of new stadiums we don't need with [literal] slave labor we're importing from Asia." (cough cough Qatar cough cough). These seats are probably going to be fine for the few games for which they'll be used. 

Clarence Boddicker

October 10th, 2017 at 10:05 PM ^

USA Soccer is a disgrace. Somewhere out there, the Maizen of USA Soccer fanatics is angrily screaming on a messageboard for Arena to sacked and demanding wholesale changes. And that Maizen--USA Soccer fanatic Maizen--is right this time!


October 10th, 2017 at 10:28 PM ^

The older players along with the MLS players need to get kicked off the team. 

Pulisic will become a superstar one day. Unfortunately, he'll be known for being a Borussia Dortmund star before a US soccer star, since we failed to qualify. 

We gotta find more European developed talent like him. The MLS is worthless for American talent, gotta find the dual citizens that play for the European academies. 

Idk why USMT still bends over for MLS players. MLS sucks. End of story. 


October 10th, 2017 at 10:38 PM ^

Whoever down voted this needs to wake up. It is true the MLS sucks.

There is no way Pulisic is where he is now if he decided to sign with the mls. The competition that he plays is so much better than what you play week in week out in the mls. Not to mention that Dortmund is in the CL, which is even on a higher level.


October 11th, 2017 at 1:11 AM ^

More realistic would have been someone like Dirk Advocaat, who rents himself out every four years to any qualifier in need of a coach. You don't get that guy for long, but results tend to be better and it might do the players some good to have the experience.

But that possibility's only on the table if you qualify.


October 11th, 2017 at 12:30 AM ^

A lot of countries manage to have quality national teams without a first-class domestic league. Belgium's not going to the WC with a squad they put together from Club Brugge and Zulte-Waregam.

The fundamental problem--there are others but until this changes the others can't even be addressed--is that the federation puts the interests of MLS and the owners of its clubs first.


October 11th, 2017 at 3:43 AM ^

From what I've read of people who know soccer much better than me, the MLS has made the US talent pool better, and it's helped the other CONCACAF teams even moreso. Hopefully this will be a huge wake-up call for US Soccer. Anyone who hasn't seen Taylor Twellman go off on ESPN should go watch that. All seemed right on the money.


October 10th, 2017 at 10:41 PM ^

Played all growing up including a few years in ODP, but don't follow USMNT, why did they ever fire Klinnsman? It seemed like he was the one brining in international talent and european training systems (germany seems pretty good, no?).

What was the reason for gettting rid of him. My friends who follow all said hiring Arena again would be the biggest mistake ever.

What the hell happened?


October 10th, 2017 at 11:53 PM ^

oh, in the completely un-corrupted world of international football???

I played U.S. Olympic Developmental in two sports, and played professionally in a foreign country (different sport) before attending UM, I very much understand the politics, handshakes, money-grabs, and power plays, that have nothing to do with on-field performance/winning and everything to do with courting business partners, both sport and non-sport related. 

The US, by comparison is massively more meritocratic when it comes to sports than the rest of the world (which isn't very hard to do).

And international soccer? lol.

klinsmann may not be the solution, but don't come at me like it was a crazy question.


October 11th, 2017 at 1:12 AM ^

US soccer is probably the least meritocratic soccer organization on the planet. As far as I know it's the only country that doesn't feature some form of promotion/relegation in its domestic leagues. Can't have owners' profits threatened because of the failure of their on-field product now, can we?


October 11th, 2017 at 2:29 AM ^

I realize that we all enjoy promotion-relegation in international leagues, but a system like that would destroy MLS in this market. The fact that MLS has lasted this long, has expanded, and has developed real and passionate fanbased in this country is an amazing success story. 

Promotion and relegation work in sporting cultures that are completely different from ours in almost every way. It will not work here, where owners and cities need to know that their facilities will continue to be used for top-flight soccer in perpetuity, where a drop down to a division will hemorage virtually all of the hard-won fans they have worked so hard to develop. 

At any rate, it has nothing to do with the calamity this past evening.

The Barwis Effect

October 11th, 2017 at 7:11 AM ^

I disagree. I believe lack of pro/rel creates a soft soccer culture. Last night's loss was emblematic of the culture that places the needs of MLS ownership/cities over player development. If USSF/MLS ran the World Cup they wouldn't even allow a country like Iceland to entire because they don't have enough money/population.


October 11th, 2017 at 8:19 AM ^

If there is a more money-centric body in world soccer than FIFA I haven't heard of it. MLS and US Soccer don't even come close to them. They are mismanaged and completely fuckakta, no question, but I'm not sure how the total apathy we witnessed last night has anything to do with the MLS money structure or some hypothetical US-owned World Cup.


October 11th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

It works in every country in the world except the US. And they don't just do it in soccer, they do it in what for them are minor sports as well.

So what you seem to be saying is that our sporting culture is completely different from all others by being non-competitive. Our owners and cities will not participate unless they're guaranteed monopoly rights.

That's probably true. Living in Cincinnati I'm getting a close-up view of how it works, watching the local club try to get into MLS. In any other country that would involve winning soccer games. Here it's a question of convincing Don Garber of the club's ability to extract tax concessions from the municipality; the sticking point isn't on-field performance, it's the fact that the club doesn't own the concession rights in their stadium.


October 11th, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

They don't do it because it's objectively better, they do it because their leagues developed differently and organically. Nobody seriously thinks, say, MLB needs to be pro-rel, it's only soccer that people believe is magically improved by pro-rel. Soccer fandom, and I'm just as guilty of this as anyone, is still largely a cultural virtue signalling exercise for a lot of American fans... a way of saying "look at how cosmopolitan I am". 


October 11th, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

They don't do it because it's objectively better, they do it because their leagues developed differently and organically. Nobody seriously thinks, say, MLB needs to be pro-rel, it's only soccer that people believe is magically improved by pro-rel. Soccer fandom, and I'm just as guilty of this as anyone, is still largely a cultural virtue signalling exercise for a lot of American fans... a way of saying "look at how cosmopolitan I am". 


October 11th, 2017 at 8:15 AM ^

You're confusing meritocracy at the individual level (which the above post was point at) and "league" meritocracy, which I don't think he was opining on. I happen to think that a full blown promotion/relegation system would be totally batty given the very different origins and money structures of our teams and leagues vs the Europeans, but 100% agree that we have a largely meritocratic player system (as one who was also a state ODP player and definitely did not make it to the big time).


October 11th, 2017 at 12:45 PM ^

I think the "U.S. sytem can't do relegation" is a complete cop out.

Sure relegated teams lose $ and lose some fans, but it's not like it's a market death sentence.

MLS soccer fans understand the concept of relegation, thay have to or they wouldn't be soccer fans.  If they bail on a team that gets relegated they probably wern't very supportive in the first place.  Thisn't a culture shock where people are suddenly trying to fix the NFL, litterally every other country and soccer organization can provide a blueprint.

I'm sure owners/cities can be given enough guarantees that relegation does not equal bankruptsy, yet the incentive to win is strong enough that nobody is content to coast.

Reminds me of the college football bowl/playoff debate.  Every other sport does a playoff to determine who's best.  The bowl system was the equivalent of participation trophies, and that's exactly what the MLS system looks like.

The U.S is different is a stupid excuse if more effective solutions are available.


October 11th, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

The US is different in a lot more ways than what you list.  First off, Manchester United could theoretically be relegated all the way to YMCA level, and you could start a club with your beer buddies that could theoretically be promoted all the way to the Premier League.  That can't be replicated here.  We don't have the organically-grown pyramid - there would still be a floor.

Second, yes, soccer fans are used to promotion/relegation.  But the goal of growing soccer is to try and bring in new fans, not make existing fans like the sport more.  I'm not saying ignore the existing fans, but neither are they the conduit to the necessary growth of the game.

Third, with MLS continuing to expand, you completely run the risk of telling new cities and excited new fans, "congrats on your new team!  now suck relegation, losers."  That's not helpful.

Fourth, fans in the US are used to the idea that teams all have a relatively equal chance of success through salary caps and things like that.  Fans in Europe are used to the idea that some rich guy can waltz in and spend eighty kajillion dollars of his oil money and potentially turn Shitcan FC into a powerhouse.  Man U is not going to be relegated ever because money.

I really don't see what promotion/relegation in MLS would fix as far as the USMNT goes.  I'd need a lot more evidence than a suggestion that the lack of it makes our players soft.


October 11th, 2017 at 2:06 PM ^

Your first point is something I think everyone misses... could you graft pro/rel onto the American system by adding 8 teams to the NFL and splitting it into "NFL 1/NFL 2"? Yes, you can do this. You could even probably make a bit more money in the short term  by doing it and in practice it wouldn't be so different than places like England where the same ~50 teams seem to compete for 44 spots in the top two tiers. 

But that isn't really what people like about pro/rel, not really. People want some romantic BS where they can start up the Ann Arbor Trustafarians in the Washtenaw County Football League and then, through shrewd decision making, turn them into an NFL team over the course of 25 years. But that is totally incompatible with 150 years of American pro sports and cannot be replicated here.

The idea that this model of league organization ownership directly impacts player development is absurd, and one need look no further than sports like hockey and basketball to see that pro/rel leagues do not produce better players than North American leagues.  


October 11th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

although your Washtenaw football league scenario is absurd and not the reason why I personally like relegation.  Do you actually know posers who have those fantasies?

I think you have to consider that one of the reason that those US-centric/dominant sports don't need relegation to excel is because they ARE US centric/dominant sports.  They don't need a semi-european model to succeed.  Maybe US soccer does, because the owner/city franchise and around-the-corner US dominance promised since the 70s hasn't exactly been cutting it.

I'm not a purist, maybe we just need another 20 yrs for football to slowly die out due to brain injury concerns and then soccer will reach enough popularity for the US to compete worldwide.



October 11th, 2017 at 3:51 PM ^

The supporters of Detroit City FC have that fantasy.  They legit want to become detroit's mls side.


The US will never dominate soccer based on population size alone.  To be great at the sport requires a massive supporting culture, a culture that in the US is far too diluted amongst Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey to really take hold in a significant way. 


Soccer fans claim it to be "the world's game" but it is really Europe, and Latin America's game.  Only 12 teams in the top 50 FIFA rankings the teams aren't European or Latin American and the only one in the top 25 is ranked 25.  

25 Iran

28 USA

30 Egypt

31 Tunisia

33 Senegal

40 Japan

42 Congo

44 Nigeria

45 Cameroon

48 Haiti

49 Burkina Faso

50 Australia




October 11th, 2017 at 2:16 PM ^

1. Floors aren't uncommon in other promotion/relegation systems. Scotland has a floor under their fourth division; East Stirling sat on that floor for decades until they finally passed a resolution to give them a special relegation out of the league and put somebody else up in their place. It's maybe not ideal but it's certainly doable.

2. You want to quickly expand the US soccer fanbase? Give the fans of those 38 NASL and USL teams something to look forward to beyond the hope that if they give enough tax breaks they might someday be granted mercy by Don Garber.

3. Expansion of MLS would be easy--just promote more teams than you relegate, until you get to the desired number.

4. Fans in the US are surely aware that some teams are more equal than others. The Yankees have 27 championships; nobody else has more than 11. Bayern has 27 German championships; nobody else has more than 9. It's not really very different at the top; it's very different at the bottom though.


October 11th, 2017 at 3:24 PM ^

On point 4, yes, there are teams that are better than others, but there's no way to claim the EPL, or just about any European soccer league, is as wide open in competition as American sports leagues.  Sure, the Yankees won a bunch of championships - back when the league was about as much of a golden rule league as soccer (he has the gold, rules.) 

Anyway, the Yankees haven't so much as played in the ALDS since 2012, until now.  Since the official establishment of the EPL in 1992, six clubs have won it, and it's only even that many because of Leicester's galactically unlikely season.  By contrast, 13 teams have won the World Series, 14 have won the Super Bowl, 13 the Stanley Cup, and 10 have won what's considered a bastion of inequality, the NBA championship.  Five powerhouses, over and over, plus Leicester City.  Four, until rich businessmen bought Man City and used their oil money to turn it from a relegation bouncy ball into a powerhouse.

Fans in the US can use crappiness as a hope crutch because the leagues 1) provide advantages for crappy teams to get better and 2) establish limits on how good the good teams can get.  The only method of advancement for bad soccer clubs is to sell a good player to a good club, thus making the rich richer and the poor poorer in the short term, and hope you can use the money to invest in more development.  Hence the need for relegation to keep things interesting and the lack thereof stateside.