U.S. MNT VS. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING DISASTER – First Time We Fail to Qualify Since 1986
While Tim Howard was 5-0-1 going into this match — playing in six all-time World Cup Qualifiers, Trinidad & Tobago was the end of the 2018 World Cup line for this remarkable goalkeeper and his team. The only stellar performance in the game was from Christian Pulisic, who scored the lone goal for the red, white and blue.
People feared it but no one believed it could happen. When soccer is flying at an all-time high on the popularity scale in the USA, our Men’s National Team manages to fail to qualify for the FIFA 2018 World Cup. While the second half kicked off with hope after Christian Pulisic scored a gorgeous stunner, nothing made up for the own goal scored by defender Omar Gonzalez who sent the ball into the back of our own net, over Tim Howard’s head.
USA lost 2-1
As the second half kicked off with hope when 19-year-old Christian Pulisic scored a gorgeous stunner, Clint Dempsey tried to equalize but hit the post instead of the target.
The nightmare of being eliminated from the World Cup is deep and vast. But it is not one players’ fault.
After a savage firing of Jürgen Klinsmann as the head coach of the United States Men’s National team and the swearing in of the tried and true Bruce Arena — the world believed we were going all the way to Russia.
But mistakes happen in the unpredictable game of soccer.
Now that the USMNT will miss the 2018 World Cup after an embarrassing loss to Trinidad and Tobago — the team the US beat years ago with the help of Paul Caligiuri to get back into the World Cup … tough questions will be asked.
After all, who wants to support a sport ‘we’ are not good at?
Hopefully, everyone realizes it takes time to compete successfully against countries who have spent more than a century preparing to play brilliant soccer.
When Klinsmann’s time ended last November 2016 after his five-year reign as Head Coach, the average soccer fan felt it was because there was doubt if his consistent focus on player development might not be aggressive enough to secure a place in the 2018 World Cup.
After all, the endless changing of the roster and the losses to Mexico and Costa Rica in the beginning of CONCACAF’s hexagonal phase looked dangerous. Even though Klinsmann had coached our country’s finest soccer players to the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, the short-term future looked dim.
Now, that soccer appears in pharmaceutical commercials on prime time TV on major networks and Americans have embraced the world’s most popular sport with more tv viewers than ever before — we will be sitting out the greatest contest in soccer which happens only every 4 years. To make this even more embarrassing, the USA is the reigning World Cup champions for women’s soccer.
What seems to be worse is that the only playmaker in this match was trained in Germany at Borussia Dortmund.
While many may think back on tonight as a wild CONCACAF match gone wrong on the last night of World Cup qualifying — there is more to this story.
The USMNT falling 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago is more than simply a shocking upset compounded by other teams winning — which resulted in us being shut out of the World Cup.
At this moment in time, should the USA be counting on other teams losing to secure our position in qualifying? Nope — no one thinks that.
Would another goalkeeper replacing Tim Howard be the solution? Howard deserves and has earned more respect than being tossed aside so quickly. And, people are too fast to trash Omar Gonzalez — he is a talented player.