After Friday's 4-0 victory over Panama, the US looked certain to continue its record of reaching the World Cup finals-it hasn't missed a tournament since 1986.
Bruce Arena's boys lost their crucial qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago last night and their 2-1 slump saw former US global and now a TV pundit Taylor Twellman lay into the entire soccer system in the country.
The U.S. returned to the World Cup in 1990 after a 40-year absence, and soccer grew at an exponential rate, helped by the U.S. hosting the tournament in 1994.
However an Omar Gonzalez own goal and a superb strike from Alvin Jones meant that Trinidad claimed all three points.
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Eifert would bounce back the following season, appearing in 13 games and catching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. Undergoing surgery would end Eifert's 2017 season and put him in a tenuous position with regards to free agency come March.
And while this is a missed opportunity for soccer in the United States, we remain incredibly bullish on the future of the sport. Major League Soccer launched two years later; cable television and the Internet brought top European clubs to American televisions and later laptops and cell phones.
Twellman wasn't the first pundit to call out the United States of America team.
"As a whole, U.S. Soccer is not prepared", Twellman said on ESPN News. "The leadership of U.S. Soccer has failed all of its stakeholders: players, fans, sponsors and those of us who have invested in professional soccer". "With the amount of money that is in Major League Soccer and is in this sport, you can't get a draw, a tie, against Trinidad?" But that won't change the fact that the USA won't be in Russian Federation next summer. He said it was not the fault of Jurgen Klinsmann, head coach from 2011 through 2016, or Bruce Arena who took over from him. An interim coach is a possibility. What are we doing? We have some good young players coming up. We're building a good system in our professional league.
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