Much ado was made about the pitch conditions heading into Tuesday night’s World Cup Qualifying finale that ended in the U.S. Men’s National Team missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Torrential rain flooded the pitch at Ato Boldon Stadium, causing a social media uproar as videos of American players being ferried across the moat surrounding the playing surface made their way around the internet. While Americans poked fun at the situation, the Soca Warriors were getting fired up at what they perceived as blatant signs of disrespect from their opponent.
“I think they were a bit overconfident and a bit disrespectful because they came in yesterday and rain fell on the pitch and they were giving each other piggybacks (over the water) and all kind of stuff,” Trinidad & Tobago assistant coach Stern John told USA Today Sports.
“Rain fell, it is not our fault,” John added. “They made a big scene out of it and it was international news all over the world. It was all over the media. Our families (told us about it). Most of our guys are on social media so they see it. They see the USA guys getting piggybacked to the field – it is embarrassing.”
John was supported by midfielder Leston Paul, who says the USMNT were overconfident and already looking ahead to a trip to Russia next summer.
“I think the (USA) was a little bit complacent,” he said, “because it is Trinidad and Tobago and we were already out. Football is a funny game. They learned their lesson today.”