USMNT Soccer: The Gut Response

Welp.

Owing to an own-goal and an utterly lifeless performance, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team eliminated themselves from the 2018 World Cup. Trinidad and Tobago were already eliminated and had¬†nothing to play for, yet the United States made them look like a team headed for World Cup glory. The last time the USMNT missed the World Cup? 1986 (back when we thought it couldn’t get any worse than the NASL’s Team America. It got worse.)

Humiliation does not even come close to describing this. Embarrassment is a tiny dot in the rear-view mirror. I’m gutted. And I’m angry at the potential that was pissed away.

At this point (and maybe I’ll change my mind after I cool off, but don’t count on it), there needs to be a top-down housecleaning at U.S. Soccer. Which probably should have happened pre-Klinsmann, but now would be good.

Obviously, it’s too soon to speculate on what our roster will look like in 2021-2022. Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey will age out. There are some great young players (Christian Pulisic damn near saved us this year). But there needs to be some deep soul-searching among U.S. Soccer leadership.

And that soul-searching needs to include how the United States Women’s National Team is treated. The team that ACTUALLY WON THE 2015 WORLD CUP still gets paid substantially less than what the men are paid. And that’s something that U.S. Soccer should also find deeply humiliating.

So yeahhhhhhNO, I’m not going to cool down from this. As I prepare for a cross-country move by cleaning out my apartment, I urge U.S. Soccer to join me by purging your house of all that no longer serves you.

P.S. I don’t have cable TV, but from my Twitter feed, it sounds like Taylor Twellman is carpet-truth-bombing U.S. Soccer on ESPN. “Belgium beat Bosnia on a COW PASTURE, but we can’t play in Trinidad, with water on the field!”

PREACH!

(Edit) See Twellman’s rant. Real talk.

Terrible Beauty 

Right now, there are fires raging through Napa and Sonoma counties, causing evacuations and destroying homes. There was also a fire in the North Berkeley hills overnight, but no report of property loss. Those of us near the bay are feeling the effects of the thick smoke in the air. It makes for a pretty sunrise, but it is a terrible beauty. 

My thoughts are with the folks in the path of these horrible fires.