US in turmoil after T&T shocker

October 12, 2017
United States coach Bruce Arena.

COUVA, Trinidad (AP):

When football holds its world's fair in Russia next June, the American pavilion will be glaringly absent.

A bumbling, stumbling, tumbling World Cup qualifying campaign ended on Tuesday night with a calamitous 2-1 loss to already eliminated Trinidad and Tobago, the 99th-ranked nation in the world, when merely a tie was necessary to eke out the final automatic World Cup berth from one of football's weakest regions.

'Unacceptable', tweeted former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, a US Soccer Federation board member. 'For us in USSoccer more than a wake-up call. Time for revolution. Need long-term plan that is smart'.

After American football's Waterloo, the fallout almost surely will lead to a new coach and possibly a new USSF head. There also figure to be calls for a re-examination of the player-development structure, from youth teams through academies designed with the hope of producing elite prospects.

"There is no denying that this is a setback for all of us involved with the game in our country," Major League Soccer said in a statement.




New York Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso, chairman of the lower-level North American Soccer League that has sued the USSF, called for federation President Sunil Gulati to resign along with board members and senior administrators be put in place.

More immediately, a decision must be made on whether the national team plays exhibitions during the November fixture dates and who will coach. Bruce Arena, brought back when Jurgen Klinsmann was fired last November after a 0-2 start in the hexagonal, figures to depart later this year or next.

Among the possible American candidates are Tab Ramos, coach of the US Under-20 team since 2011; Peter Vermes, coach of Sporting Kansas City since 2009; and Huddersfield manager David Wagner. Atlanta United's Tata Martino, a former coach of Argentina and Barcelona, is among the foreigners who could be considered. An interim coach is a possibility.

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