U.S. failure to qualify for World Cup 'huge disappointment'

Watch Taylor Twellman's passionate rant after US men fail to qualify for World Cup

Goalkeeper Tim Howard was the only starter against Trinidad & Tobago alive the last time the U.S. failed to qualify for a World Cup - the 1986 edition. "It takes time. We have a ways to go". The Hexagonal meets "Twilight Zone".

A 1-2 loss against a side with nothing to play for, and when Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean region) group winners Mexico lost 2-3 to Honduras and Panama stunned second-placed Costa Rica 2-1, the United States tumbled from third to fifth, out of even the play-offs against Australia next month. Panama's tying goal clearly did not cross the line.

A shocking, nightmare ending.

While every major soccer country invests in youth development to uncover the best and brightest soccer prodigies in every corner of their countries, the usa soccer pyramid is still dependent on middle class suburban families who are willing to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a year in fees and travel costs in search of college scholarships.

Much has been made of the wet, sluggish field at Ato Boldon Stadium in Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, as well as Panama's "ghost goal" en route to the 2-1 win over Costa Rica that ultimately eliminated the US, but Lalas says the Americans must point the finger at themselves. Unacceptable as it is for the US to miss the World Cup, does this mean that there has been no progress? "To see the start of MLS and to see FC Cincinnati in this day of age, and to see us not make a World Cup - I mean, it's heartbreaking".

Among the possible American candidates are Tab Ramos, coach of the USA under-20 team since 2011; Peter Vermes, coach of Sporting Kansas City since 2009; and Huddersfield manager David Wagner.

St. Louis product Josh Sargent signed a contract with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen before leaving for the U-17 World Cup in India this month, and six of his teammates have already signed MLS contracts. "And while this is a missed opportunity for soccer in the United States, we remain incredibly bullish on the future of the sport".

On the boys side, however, pay to play is the ultimate anchor for U.S. Soccer.

The entire U.S. Soccer system must be evaluated. The rest of the soccer world doesn't have anywhere close to the infrastructure that the US has to develop women's soccer players. Non-MLS clubs have also increased scholarship funding for their players over the years to remain competitive in the DA. This team failed themselves, they failed the sport and they failed their country.

Any decrease in interest by American fans may have far-reaching effects for media partners such as Fox Sports, which is paying more than US$400 million (S$542 million) for the domestic English-language rights to the next two World Cups.

'Certainly, I think if our league [the MLS] continues to grow it benefits the national team program, ' Arena told reporters Tuesday.

As a player, Vermes played overseas in Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain before MLS began and he joined the now-defunct Tampa Bay Rowdies before eventually ending his career with the Kansas City Wizards in 2002.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but in the U.S.it's outranked by the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL.

Futsal, on which South American skillful stars are often weaned, became a part of DA programming. It takes skill and creativity, and that is more likely to be developed early in pickup games than in the hyper-organized, result-crazed world of youth soccer.

Of course, there must be reevaluation, critique and accountability when the United States of America fails to reach a World Cup.

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