Heading into the United States’ game Tuesday night at Trinidad and Tobago, ESPN’s Paul Carr noted that there was just a 3 percent chance the American men wouldn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
But the unthinkable happened: the U.S. lost at Trinidad and Tobago, Panama beat Costa Rica and Honduras defeated Mexico. Those three results knocked the U.S. to fifth in CONCACAF standings and so they will miss the World Cup next year in Russia.
There is plenty of blame to go around: current coach Bruce Arena did a terrible job after he replaced Jürgen Klinsmann, who oversaw the team’s rotten start to the final round of qualifying. U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati is the man who hired both of those coaches.
Former U.S. national-team player Taylor Twellman, who is with ESPN, unloaded after Tuesday’s games: