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USMNT sees World Cup dream end with loss to T&T


The U.S. Men’s National Team’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup quickly turned into a nightmare on Tuesday night.

Two first half goals from Soca Warriors stunned the U.S., who fell 2-1 in T&T on Tuesday night. The loss eliminated the U.S. from World Cup qualifying due to wins from Panama and Honduras.

T&T opened the scoring 17 minutes in through an Omar Gonzalez own goal. On a cross into the box, Gonzalez battled with Soca Warriors forward Shahdon Winchester near the penalty spot. Gonzalez’s touch fired the ball back past Tim Howard, putting the U.S. in an early hole.

That hole got much, much deeper in the 37th minute on a stunner from Alvin Jones. The defender, younger brother of Seattle Sounders star Joevin Jones, unleashed a 35-yard missile up and over Howard, doubling the T&T advantage heading towards halftime.

Just a minute into the second half, the U.S. was back in the match through Christian Pulisic, who fired a shot from outside the box that deflected into the back of the net.

From there, the U.S. generated several chances, while T&T forced a few of their own as well. Tim Howard was called on for a big save on a Winchester shot while Dempsey saw a shot of his own stopped by T&T goalkeeperĀ Adrian Foncette.

The best look came int he 77th from Dempsey as his long-range shot was pushed onto the post by Foncette. With just moments remaining, Foncette made another massive save, stopping a Feilhaber header on the doorstep.

That would be the closest the U.S. came as the team was eliminated from World Cup contention.


  1. Any team that can’t win on the road and losses 2 matches at Home doesn’t deserve to go to the World Cup where all matches will be on the road. This U. S. team would be an embarrassment to the U. S. in the World Cup. You would never know what U. S. team would be showing up for what match. I think that with the U. S. players playing for so many different teams which have different types of systems on the field, that they have trouble moulding together. Also, I don’t know that there is that much emotion with the U. S. team. It may be that the USMNT needs a coach with a lot of emotion which can be transferred to the players.

  2. wow, need a little time to let this one soak in. there’s gonna be a wc next year and we won’t be in it…

  3. Here are my thoughts as to why we lost:
    -lost generation/talent dip. See excellent Brian Sciaretta article. Hardly anyone come out of the 23-28 year old category to push the Howards, Dempseys, Zusi’s out of the team.

    -MLS. Sorry to say it people, but while MLS will help the USMNT in the long run develop talent, in the short run, it brought back almost all of our best players to play in an inferior league. You can’t tell me Jozy and MB are better now they are in MLS.

    -poor coaching, although that only cost us a few games

    -lack of fight. this is the most shocking to me. US soccer DID have an identity: make up for lack of talent with effort. This entitled team expected their talent would win out. Sad.

    -our next generation will be amazing. I’m sorry Pulisic your country let you down.

    -Russia misses out on millions and possibly a BILLION or two in lost revenue from US fans. Take that Putin!

    -the fight will be back in US soccer! No more taking things for granted.

    Now someone please cue up “Keep Your Head Up” by Pac while I go cry softly. ha

  4. The only way to save US Soccer is for MLS limiting foreign players to 4 per team and 3 on the field. We are not England, we are not Germany. Instead we are developing, strengthening and polishing in our own league the players who later beat us in CONCACAF.

    • Unfortunately, El Comandante, it’s looking more and more like it could be true. MLS has directly contributed to the rise of smaller nations within the federation. While that’s a feather in the cap of MLS, the flip-side is it appears to have become a soft, and comfortable landing pad for American players to regress.
      Until our players face weekly competition within a season that matters it may be unreasonable to expect anything but these soft, and comfortable professionals to sleep-walk through qualifying each cycle with no passion, pride or fire. Yes, I’m referring to Pro/Rel and sharpening iron with iron.

    • This is an excellent idea to allow American youngsters to develop. You can’t have all the difference makers being foreign players. Hope USSF puts pressure on MLS to do this, not the othe way around.

  5. No passion. I don’t know if it’s possible to generate passion where it doesn’t exist. Maybe we’re too big a place to have that much passion to play for us. Maybe we are the big target that is on top of everything else and to play for us just isn’t that exciting.

    I understand better why Giuseppi Rossi played for Italy. I understand better why American-born Mexican fans cheer for Mexico.

  6. The USNMT and last 2 coaches have demonstrated their level of soccer competence in their last 10 WC qualification games. By ending up in FIFTH PLACE and loosing so toothlessly against the six place team (T &T), it certainly demonstrates that the US needs – NEW US Federation leader, NEW National coach and mainly newer/younger US players except our 19 year-old star. These total USMNT changes can’t be any worse than what has been DEMONSTRATED!!! Just look how successfully the younger German players are being used in the German national team. Although, the German U17 team just lost 4:0 to Iran in the India U17 WC and so nothing is guaranteed in the very challenging game of soccer. By the way, the U17 USNMT has won its first 2 WC games with the last one against a very tough Ghana team. So, hopefully there is better US soccer quality (players & coaches) to come, especially if we have the courage & smarts to use new & better players & coaches!!

  7. As I said in previous comments, this team looked good to those US fans who truly believe in the myth of American exceptionalism. Someone wrote that this group of players was the most talented group in Concacaf, even though Mexico and Costa Rica have various players starting in top teams in the Champions League and the US has one. As others have said, this should be an inflection point for the US program… but if past US examples of exceptionalism show, lots of discussion leads to the same mistakes or little change.

  8. More fans, media and people with voices should echo the sentiments of Alexi Lalas and stop being passive soccer mom’s.
    We have too many pacifists (see: “I cheer for Mexico because they represent CONCACAF – Even though I’m American.”). Not surprisingly, we have some of the softest American’s representing our country at the national team level in all of memory.

    • An American who cheers for Mexico isn’t a pacifist. Where the heck did you get that crazy idea? They’re more PASSIONATE about the Mexican team and their own Mexican heritage.

      A better question is why don’t the US players play with more passion?

      • They’re absolutely pacifists. You’re describing a dual-national approach I never addressed or described. To clarify, and add context: I’m directly referring to individuals who cheer for Mexico because they belong to the same federation – despite how classless Mexico is in every sporting term.

        If you’re cheering for your rival there’s absoluely something wrong with you in a sporting respect and you’re absolutely what I’m referring to as a pacifist. Crazy is believing otherwise and admitting to be a part of the problem.

      • I would rather have our region do well than have all of the CONCACAF teams wash out in the first round. The region gets no respect to begin with.

      • Who the hell cares about “respect”? Respect is earned, not given based on perception. England, and it’s fans don’t respect Americans within the sport or our usage of “soccer” (despite it’s origin) and we still finished above them the last time we were within a group at the World Cup.
        Even more absurd is throwing around the term “respect” with an opponent/fan base devoid of it, and undeserving of it. This is exactly the sentiments that’s wrong with our fanbase, and another reason our players are comfortable. Passive fans.

  9. Bruce Arena claiming nothing is wrong, and any dramatic change would be harmful to the direction of US Soccer is so tone deaf it nearly alienates me to the point of ignoring the program entirely going forward…if that mantra/attitude remains unchecked.
    Like others above, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard it. Ironically, so many people whined about JK’s ego, yet, conveniently ignored Arena’s absolute blinding hard-on for everything MLS.
    MLS may be making money, as people like to fall back on, but it’s a pretty awful league in skill and in competition. The entire system disgusts me and when we have young American players opting for it because they want to be “comfortable”, we shouldn’t be surprised when we have comfortable stars uncomfortable in pressure situations.

    • Amen Old School…
      I think that may have been one of the most infuriating and shocking post game statements I’ve EVER seen in any sport EVER…
      And I don’t know if you heard Bob Ley or not, (Or for those of you who didn’t) but when he said, “I’ve been covering this sport since 1982, and did the World Cup in 1986 & most since, and there was something missing this entire qualifying.. When you play in Europe, even if you play in 2nd division in Europe, you’re fighting week in and week out for your spot on the field, and this group didn’t play with that mentality”
      I thought to myself, Bob Ley is as American as Apple Pie, yet he gets it…. but when fans (or JK) or ex players like McBride who played in Europe say those things they are shunned by the MLS elitists, called Eurosnobs etc…
      And we just got undone by the biggest MLS snob on the planet- and his insane uppity myopic view was just confirmed with that post game display…
      Hope it was worth it Bruce….

  10. As I mentioned, USSoccer is a systematically problem; coaches: favoritism, discrimination, ignorance, blind and deaf. Starting XI players: most egotistic, played without heart and soul, talked more than played. All comments from the fans and media were totally ignored. Look at Iceland and Argentina at their last game and compare US last game. What’s shamed

  11. This team played the entire qualification process without passion and desire. No sense of team, no pride in the uniform, and no put it all on the line attitude. How would Cobi Jones, Jermaine Jones, or Frankie Hejduk been playing the last 30 minures of that game? The team took on the laisez faire attitude of the captain and the coach, and it showed up every game save one. MB is the worst leader this team ever had, and we have regressed every year he has been our captain. I feel for the kid, but the rest of the team deserves what they got!

  12. Words don’t suffice to describe range of emotions US fans are experiencing at the moment–from disappointment to anger to embarrassment. For me, the worst part about all of this is the entitled and indifferent attitude exhibited by our “leaders” throughout this round of qualifying. After each disappointing result, MB would chalk it up to CONCACAF qualifying or brush off legitimate criticism (from Alexi Lalas of all people) by curtly saying everyone has an opinion. Word to MB, you aren’t a world beater, never have been and never will be. Where was the accountability? And, I’m not just talking about accountability in post-game interviews, but on the field. The play was heartless. Twellman got it right. US soccer needs to wake up, because it has turned into one big incestual, circle-jerk where the “coach’s son” is untouchable no matter how may eggs he lays and Il Bruce is so damn smug he can’t stop sniffing his own farts. You all are a disgrace.

  13. I can’t believe I just heard Arena say “There’s nothing wrong, we don’t need to make a bunch of changes, we’re moving in the right direction, we’ve got a great domestic league, we’ve got players playing in Europe”
    I honestly can’t believe my freakin ears.. Twellman and Bob Ley ummm.. SLIGHTLY disagreed with Arena.

    This disaster is on Bruce Arena…period.
    Yes JK had us down 0-2, yes we have had a lost generation, but let’s not pretend we were trying to qualify in Europe or South America…
    8 games, 12 points… period.
    Arena started believing his own hype with the unbeaten streak? We played a total of ONE good game during that time yet it was “Bruce to the rescue”…
    Remember all the great articles? Remember all the interviews about how Bruce made everybody “feel” comfortable again?
    If a team has multiple games where they look as excited as watching paint dry & they do the same things over and over again and expect different results?? That’s on the coach..
    How you feelin about those hot shot European teams now…
    Poor roster decisions, poor choices, poor coaching….
    It isn’t just about losing to the TnT “B”team… It’s about every poor choice in the rest of qualifying…
    You wanna put older guys out to pasture? Make sure you fill their spot the right way… You think Jermaine Jones and his warrior mentality wouldn’t have made a difference? So he’s replaced with Dax….
    You wanna stick with “your” guys (OMAR) and leave Cameron on the bench? Oh yea, Cam had a stinker.. Omar hasn’t had a dozen of em Einstein??
    Yea, let’s leave Fabian out… but when you look at your bench Bruce, who is the all-star super sub you’re gonna turn to because you wanted to make a statement that the MLS guys will pull you through….
    Yes, decisions like Wondo and Beasley and Dax matter Bruce… They matter because this looked like a team with no urgency and nobody pushing them.
    Either you make 8 changes to your line-up or you make zero changes…. hhhmmmm… brilliance…

    The fact that Bruce Arena JUST said on TV that we don’t need to change anything shows the very reason WHY we’re not going to the World Cup.. a legend in his own mind. He may have forgotten more about soccer than any of us will ever know… too bad he didn’t remember any of it when he took over

  14. If we can’t beat Trinidad and Tobago, then we don’t deserve to play in the World Cup. Time to do what Germany did and develop a 10 year plan for US Soccer from age 6-professional. Real Academies and not this pay to play crap.

    • US was the largest group to pre-order in the first round of WC tickets, so that’s gone. Fox is gearing up to send over 400 people for their coverage, my guess is that gets scaled down now. Advertising $$ will dry up too.

  15. Stefan Frei saves one of those T&T shots. And I’m not saying Frei’s the best keeper in MLS. He’s just the one I watch the most.

    • Pretty sure Hamid could have stopped that golazo to the back post. Throughout this cycle, I never understood why we didn’t have Horvath or Hamid as the 3rd gk to put the pressure on Howard. What is the point of carrying guys like Rimando and Wondo when you have young talent who are just as good if not better?

      This is a game that someone who bleeds for the shirt like Alan Gordon should have been called on instead on leaving space for Wondo. In the last 15 mins, Gordon will throw himself in there for a goal.

  16. These guys are done: MB (regressed since MLS return), Jozy (regressed since MLS return), OG (consistently makes mistakes but that goal was unlucky) and Dempsey (too old).

    The biggest disappointments are MB and Jozy.

    Jozy, you could have had 4 goals last week if you still could dribble but quality is getting
    worse year after year. He had a tap in and pk last week so the numbers looked better than he actually played. Even Wondo scores tap-ins and PKs so if you’re out there, we expect you to be better than anyone else on the roster.

    MB, with your giveaways, no club outside of MLS will employ you based on your performance the past 2 years. Best days were at Roma.

    Time to bring in FJ, Williams, Acosta, Chandler, McKennie, Agudelo, Boyd.

    It’s over for MLS players. MLS players should be used for depth and squad players,
    but not difference makers.

    All those who wrote off JK, would you have done so if the Mexico and CR were not back to back games? So Arena lost to CR and T&T, what logic is there for decision makers like Gulati with his PhD decision making skills?

  17. Arena has proven himself to be the worst coach in US history. Where was Cameron, Johnson And Chandler, and McKennie? The positive is that Arena and Gulati will be gone soon if not already.

    • Cameron is still recovering from injury, FJ has become less and less interested in representing the US, I’m not sure Chandler ever wanted to be here, and McKinney’s not quite ready yet.

      Bruce was always a stop-gap measure.

  18. Usa helped mexico,4 years ago,was eliminated,but whit Grahan Susy scored and mexico get the ticket,nobody help the team,in nothing,mexico lost whit Honduras and Costa Rica do it
    the same whit Panama…..
    But there new faces and very young ,that didnot play,but in the next hex, no more Gonzalez,
    the trhee old Golkkeapers,they were ETHAN ORVAT the best usa goolkeaper,Jessy
    Gonzalez, and Justin Garces u17usa mnt,yes stop all they send golazos…the u17. and the
    u20 more experienced,USA will shine again,no more Tim Howad,Brad Guzan,they receibed
    some importat goals It is sad,but the show will continue,remember than I7 usa young are doing a good paper whit his first place in world soccer in India

  19. A few thoughts: the hole people talk about that JK left them in is crazy, when was the last time they won in Costa Rica and losing to Mexico at home wasn’t all that surprising to me. If those would have been games 2 and 3 probably no big deal. The lost to Costa Rica at home was bigger in my book. Need a coach to come in with a clean slate and has no alliances to these players(other than maybe Tuchel, just a thought since he is still out there). Player selection is always up for argument but leaving FJ off this roster even though he didn’t play that well last qualifiers is still crazy, leaving Cameron on bench makes no sense. MLS has weekend the USMNT because all the other concacaf countries are now playing on equal terms, they have progressed and the majority of the US players haven’t. They also need an identity whether it be formation based or just bigger and faster with long balls, just stick to something. And finally for now bring in the best players even if they arnt getting regular mins with club team as long as they fit a need(example would be Hyndman I know he has struggled with some injuries but anybody who has seen him play can see his qualities and he could have been a nice attacking piece that could have relieved pressure off of CP to create everything. Cameron and Dempsey I am sorry your international careers had to end this way, I think y’all for everything

  20. Go over to ESPN and watch Twellmen lose his mind, it’s mostly true but at least made me laugh on a tough night to be a US soccer fan.

  21. T&T had won a total of 1 game out of the first 9 and all we needed was a draw. Even after we went down 2-0 the team played with no sense of urgency. From watching you would have thought they were ahead 2-0, not behind by that score. Only Pulisic’s goal seemed to wake them up. And T&T didn’t even have 2 of their best players. Some here are saying our players aren’t good enough. But almost all of them play at a higher club level than players at T&T, Honduras, and Panama. This is not about lack of quality, but lack of desire and poor coaching. Of the players who played for T&T tonight, probably only Joevin Jones would be good enough to make the US roster. Let that sink in for a while.

  22. the players had no urgency,,,,that’s on the coach…they were more worried about the filed than playing the game…that’s on the players….absolutely gutted…mls is good to start the career but to be battle ready our best players shoold be in europe…..when the league started and was made up of american players, the quality of play sucked….we don’t want to go back to that…mls should be a feeder league…our best can start there but must finish in europe……we need 11 politics and anyone thinking otherwise doesn’t know how lucky we have been all these years….

  23. That large sucking sound was the MLS franchise owners considering the lost revenue that will result from not having their US ‘stars’ represented in the WC. Overhaul needed from the top of US Soccer all the way through and including MLS if soccer is to be a true professional sport in this country.

  24. I wonder what the effect will be on some of those young dual nationals we were counting on…McKennie and Jonathan Gonzalez, et al. Will they see this as an opportunity or a big wet blanket on their ambitions?

  25. This team/cycle did not deserve to go to a World Cup. Inconsistency, personal mistakes, and not being able to beat the last place team on the road is the icing on top. I feel for Pulisic who put this woeful team on his back as a 19 year and almost carried them to a World Cup. The bright side is that he will never have to play with this group ever again and US soccer can be built around him of players of his generation.

  26. Frankly, the US did not put much pressure on T&T and it showed. T&T looked like seasoned pros, but they are not, this is their team of the future (save Jones). Poor player selection was not really the problem, you can, of course, claim that Cameron would have been a better choice than OG, or that Dempsey should have started, maybe even Feilhaber, but the ship would not have been righted by that. The US came out trying to set back and take no chances which in the end was a risky strategy. The US is not good enough to play without trying to disrupt the other team. That is on Arena.

    Outside of Pulisic, the midfield is fairly average, even Bradley who generally plays very intelligently is not the kind of player who you can count on to get forward and dribble in tight spots and that was needed to breakdown T&T. Neither Ariola nor Nagbe was effective at that and that was what they were in the game for. Wood and Altidore failed to impose themselves on the T&T defenders physically or stretch them by making runs.

    The defense was pretty average. An own goal can happen on a bad field, and it did. but not being tighter to Jones was a mistake, a PK likely should have been called against the US and Giving T&T free kicks when they have someone like Jones to take them inside 30 yards is just not smart.

    When the US had possession (mostly by the Central defenders and Bradley) the other midfielders and forwards were too static so that it was relatively easy for T&T to step up and cut off passes. Only in the last 15 minutes did that change much.

  27. Questions I have:
    Was Cameron fit?
    What was behind the decision to play with one central midfielder?
    Why no changes to the eleven after mass changes in earlier rounds?
    Also, quit complaining about the Panama goal, it was ruled a goal its over there is no mechanism to overturn it and it would be a complete fraud if anyone tried.

    • lol Cause we can….Ruled a goal when it wasn’t…Actually you can dispute it with FIFA….Yeah, USA still lost, yeah we are pissed, and yeah it was called a goal when it wasn’t….And why can’t we complain about it? Know it won’t change anything, but it will as FIFA will be moving to the use of replay soon and that will be one of the reasons in the future…Actually, USA soccer can lodge a complaint with FIFA…Obviously won’t change the result, but will santion the referees of that game….

  28. Wow, just wow. I kinda sensed this ending when we left Kinsman after the last WC and even more so after the 4th place Gold Cup.


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