The United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after losing to Trinidad & Tobago in their final qualifying match. This is the first time the US has failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1986. The US won’t be the only club failing to live up to their own expectations – the Netherlands, Chile, and Ghana all failed to qualify in their respective regions. On the positive side of the news, Iceland and Panama punched their tickets for the first time ever, and Egypt will return since their last trip to Italy for the 1990 World Cup. Currently there are 23 nations that have secured their spot, with another 9 still to be determined.
A number of hot-blooded reactions have flooded the internet after the US’s loss. To name a notable few, Taylor Twellman ranted and challenged everyone at all levels of the game while Tony Sanneh reminded us to never assume greatness. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports wrote about the importance to cultivate talent. The American Outlaws supporters group expressed their disappointment while calling all supporters to get involved, look to the future, and support the next World Cup Qualifying cycle as well as the women’s national team and U-17 men’s team currently playing in their World Cup. Matthew Doyle of MLSSoccer.com cited Neil Blackmon’s call for change and brought to mind an article from a number of months ago referring to a gap in the US talent pool. Perhaps the best, most sober response to the loss has been Grant Wahl’s call for change in the USSF.
From a business angle, expect Fox Sports and Nike to come out of this with less to gain. Fox is expected now to have a tougher time selling advertising space while Nike can’t capitalize from a merchandising standpoint.
Midfielder Kevin Molino was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters after his second half performance in a comeback win on the road over Atlanta United. Along with Molino, forward Abu Danladi and defender Brent Kallman were named to the MLS Team of the Week.
We had one match tonight between Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City, with Houston winning at home 2-1.
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