The US national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Not only was this an embarrassment, but it also proved that the efforts which are being put in towards growing the game in the country are not paying dividends.
Some believed that the US’s failure to qualify for the World Cup was due to Jurgen Klinsmann’s habit of using foreign-born players while others feel that it was due to Bruce Arena’s decision to mainly rely upon MLS players, many of them who were old and well past their prime such as Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski.
During an interview with ESPN, one anonymous “former U.S. international” highlighted that the downfall of US soccer may be due to the selection of dual-national players.
“There was definitely a thought process that [the German-Americans] were great when the World Cup came around, but they didn’t want to go down and fight in a game like Trinidad or in Honduras or Guatemala, the travel and that kind of stuff,” the former U.S. international said. “A guy like Fabian Johnson, in big games, in qualifiers, at times it just looked like he was going through the motions.”
The US certainly look like they are going in a different direction from learning from their failures. The team that recently defeated Bolivia featured many American born youth who are playing for big clubs across Europe.
The future looks bright for American soccer.