What now USA?

Updated: October 18, 2017

The critics were relentless and the fans on the verge of abject once the final whistles had been blown throughout CONCACAF, October 11th in this year of the Lord 2017. For a bystander and neutral the evening results had produced some of the most magnificent drama related to soccer this year. USA finished fifth in the group, which meant that they would not qualify to the world cup, for the first time since 1990.

The prerequisites were all in favour of Team USA once again qualifying. Ahead of the 10th and last round USA were in third place which meant that they would get a direct spot to the world cup. The final game was to be played away against Trinidad & Tobago which were at the bottom on six points and had nothing to play for beyond honour. And honourably they did indeed play.

Worst case scenario, which was about as pessimistic as most fans ventured, would be that USA dropped a point, where depending on other results they could find themselves in the play-off spot. That would take them to a double face-off against Australia. Meanwhile, a tad further south from the borders where Ray Charles, BB King, Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen created magic, Honduras and Panama could contest that USA position if they won their games and received a bit of help from their Trinidadian and Tobagoan friends.

USA played Trinidad and Tobago away

Honduras played already qualified Mexico at home

Panama played already qualified Costa Rica at home

There were 27 various scenarios this could play out and only one of them meant USA would be out of contest. The soccer gods managed to assemble it in a way where that one single route, which meant Team USA were out. For us neutral’s watching the last tenth round in the CONCACAF qualifiers, it was a magic night, or morning. Staying awake until the wee hours in the European morning was worth it all; the own goal by USA which gave Trinidad & Tobago the lead was Messi-like in quality if you would score on the right side of the pitch, a goal which brought marvellous hope to Honduras and Panama. Honduras trailing twice against Mexico then finally winning 3-2 was spectacular. Especially the 2-2 equalizer where a Honduran player hits the bar, the ball bounces back, then off the Mexican keepers head, into the post and a goal.

The Panama game was a joy to follow (thank god for Internet and the possibility to watch three games at the same time) where they as well were trailing 1-0 at home but turned it around through one very dubious goal given and a fantastic headed assist picked up then an almost Bruce Lee-like kick making the net shake behind the Costa Rican keeper. The scenes in Panama after 2-1 when an old lady made it onto the pitch and staff had to pick her up from the pitch then escort her out is probably one of the most memorable football related moments this year.

But back to USA and their soccer, what now? Losing in a crucial game against Trinidad and Tobago – a country with less population than what USA has licensed soccer players – that is an ill faith yet it should be a significant eye opener of how terribly USA soccer is run. Not regarding the head coach of the national side, the entire system. Never mind that we European’s can’t understand the franchise part of it where no clubs can be relegated or promoted, it’s the pay-to-play part which is utterly ludicrous, where parents have to spend quite a lot of money for their kids to play. The USA FA has collected billions over the years and what do they have to show for it? Not much to be honest. The third nation in the world as far as population goes just got beat to the 2018 world cup by Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama. Combined between them three countries there are four states in the USA, each with a higher population.

It’s not good enough USA.

/ Zvonko, BettingAdviceUSA