With the United States Men’s National Team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup starting to sink in, a variety of people involved with U.S. Soccer have started speaking about it all. The range of thoughts were across the board, from calm disappointment to ferocious anger. Some of the main personalities we all associate with U.S. Soccer had some things to say about the USMNT crashing out of World Cup qualification.
Per SBISoccer (SBI), Sunil Gulati told the media that:
“You don’t make wholesale changes based on the ball being two inches wide or two inches in. “We will look at everything, obviously, with all of our programs from the national team to development. We have a lot of pieces in place that we think are very good and have been coming along. Tonight wasn’t what we hoped for.”
However, Gulati did indicate that the result was unacceptable.
“We certainly expected to qualify throughout the process and especially after Friday night,” Gulati said, “so it’s a huge disappointment for everybody, for the players, the staff, the coaches, the federation. It’s not good enough.”
According to SBI, Bruce Arena echoed Gulati’s thoughts that U.S. Soccer is on the right track despite this failure.
“What we’re doing, there’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing,” Arena said. “As our league continues to grow, it benefits the national team. We have some good young players coming up. Nothing has to change. To make an kind of crazy changes, I think, would be foolish. We’re building a good system with our professional league. We have players playing abroad of some quality. There’s enough there. There are no excuses for us not qualifying for the World Cup.
“I’d say that if we had qualified for the World Cup, there need to be a number of changes for a World Cup roster,” he added. “We have some young promising players that would perhaps have made a bid to be part of a World Cup in 2018. Is this the most talented? I don’t know how you come up with that. The only way you evaluate your program and the quality is in the World Cup.”
Arena later came to Gulati’s defense when speaking to the Washington Post .
“The criticism on Sunil is unfair. Why is the president of the federation responsible for the result on Tuesday?”
Jozy Altidore became the first player to speak about the disappointment, issuing a statement on Wednesday via Twitter:
According to Goal.com, Alejandro Bedoya stated that:
“We let our country down, we let our teammates down, we let our fans down, we let our families down and ourselves down.”
“It’s an utter disappointment. The first half [at Trinidad & Tobago] was pretty embarrassing.”
“It freaking sucks. For me to be on the bench and not take part of this game in a do-or-die situation, it really sucked,” Bedoya said. “There was a lot of emotions: Anger, disappointment, disgust. I was pissed I wasn’t part of it, obviously, with my competitiveness and being a passionate guy.
"Me sitting there watching the first half unfold, the way we stepped out on the field and the way we were going about things. I’m sure everyone watching, in a situation like that, it’s not what was expected.”
“I came home yesterday and saw my son. My wife came to the airport with my two kids and my son ran up to me and for me, family, that just took my mind off of everything for a little bit,” Bedoya said.
“I had dreams of taking my son to the World Cup. He would’ve been three and a half years old by then and just to experience that with him, there was a lot of sadness, a lot of emotions after the game on Tuesday night, and that for me was kind of the most disheartening thing.”
USMNT legend London Donovan told sports radio host Dan Patrick:
“The most disturbing part for me was the lack of urgency displayed,” he said. “We all know in sports anything can happen, you can lose games, that’s all part of it. But the lack of urgency to really understand what was it stake was really disheartening for me and candidly it was really hard to watch.”
“It should never come down to having score one goal in Trinidad to get to the World Cup, he said. “In our history we’ve had to do that, but I think we’re past those days where that should happen. The reality is we lost two games at home in qualifying, which, and I’m not a statistician, but I don’t know the last time that happened. And we lost a game in Trinidad against a team that had nothing to play for. And so that’s sort of the reality of the situation. It’s unacceptable in every way and it’s disappointing and we got what we deserved. If you can’t win more games at home in qualifying and if you can’t beat Trinidad in a game that matters for us and doesn’t for them, then you don’t deserve to go to the World Cup.”
Finally, the reaction heard ‘round the world belonged to ESPN soccer analyst and former USMNT player Taylor Twellman, who ripped into the soul of U.S. Soccer in an epic rant:
What do you think about these reactions?