The Lumberjack student newspaper
The Humboldt State women's soccer team played Stanislaus State at College Creek Field in Arcata and lost 1-0 to the Warriors on Oct. 8, 2019 | Photo by Liam Warner

The Failure of U.S Soccer

The United States men's national team has not made much progress since failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup

The United States men’s national team has not made much progress since failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup

The lowest moment in recent history for the United States men’s national soccer team was on the night of Oct. 10, 2018, on a rain-soaked pitch in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. was on the cusp of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and only needed a draw against the Trinidad and Tobago national team, who were dead last in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football qualifying standings and had not won in their last nine matches.

Even if the U.S. were to lose this game, a failsafe existed in the form of either Mexico or Costa Rica winning their respective game, which would send the U.S. to their eighth straight World Cup. It seemed like a sure thing.

On that fateful night, everything that could have possibly gone wrong for the U.S. men’s national team went haywire.

I believe it was one of the worst moments in American sports history.

An own goal that was deflected off the leg of U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez somehow found its way past goalkeeper Tim Howard in minute 17. Trinidad would add another goal in minute 37, and while the Americans would add a goal late, it would not be enough.

The United States lost 2-1 to the worst team in the final round of qualifying. To make matters worse, Mexico and Costa Rica, who were two of the best teams in the region, managed to lose both of their matches. For the first time since 1986, the United States would not be in the World Cup. To say this was an embarrassment would be an understatement.

I believe it was one of the worst moments in American sports history. For the United States to fail to get a tie against a team that was 1-8 previously in qualifying was a national embarrassment. Missing out on the World Cup would deal a massive blow to the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Fans across the U.S. would miss out on seeing their national team play on the world’s biggest stage, and subsequently, the up-and-coming players on the national team would miss out on a valuable experience that would strengthen their development. To make things even worse, qualifying for the next World Cup does not begin until 2021, leaving us a long time to think about what happened.

Since then, the U.S. Soccer Federation has fired their head coach, Bruce Arena, and after many months of interim coaches at the helm, Gregg Berhalter was selected to lead the long journey back to the next World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. Many of the players that were a part of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads are now gone, leaving a lot of young and talented but unproven players to develop at the international level.

A lot of the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was years in the making. The U.S. had an aging roster of players that were on the back end of their international careers. Players like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, who were a huge part of past World Cups, were just not producing at the same level as in the past.

Now that the U.S. has an almost entirely different roster, it looks like the team has no sense of direction. An embarrassing loss to Canada in the CONCACAF Nations League in October highlighted the fact that the U.S. still has a long way to go to reach the next World Cup. The U.S. roster is currently highlighted by budding superstar Christian Pulisic, who is the best scorer for the team and plays club soccer for Chelsea in one of the top soccer leagues in the world. Other than Pulisic, the U.S. roster is a rotating door of names.

If the U.S. has issues competing with teams on our own continent, then being able to someday compete with the top European or South American nations is going to be a daunting task.

It all comes down to a complete lack of talent within the U.S. Soccer Federation. One problem is finding talent and developing it, but the main problem is dual-national players committing to other nations. If you’re a young player and you have the choice of playing for the United States or Mexico, right now I would bet that player is going to choose Mexico.

While the men’s team is trying to find their identity on the field, I would like to shout out the U.S. Women’s National Team for winning two straight World Cups and continuing to make this country proud. They are setting an example for how American soccer should be played and I look forward to their continued success.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination