Shock sets in for fans as USMNT fails to qualify for World Cup

Soccer fans across the United States share in the same emotions as they mourn the elimination of the United States men’s national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

This is the first time since 1986 that a team will not be on hand to represent the United States when the ceremonies commence in Russia next summer.

“I’m extremely upset that the U.S. team was eliminated,” Brian Rohanna, a junior at Cabrini University, said.

Due to a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago, the United States fell behind Panama and Honduras in the CONCACAF standings, thus eliminating them from World Cup contention.

The impact of the elimination is still setting in for fans of the United States, yet the impact on the game as a whole is much bigger. TV ratings for the 2018 World Cup in the United States are expected to see a decline from previous years, due to the absence of the team.

After such a humiliating loss for not just the team, but the nation as a whole, head coach Bruce Arena stepped down from the helm. This only makes matters worse than they already were.

Graphic by Connor Tustin.

In a survey taken by 20 randomly selected Cabrini students, 65 percent said they still plan on watching the World Cup next summer. While 35 percent said they have no interest now that the United States has been eliminated.

Sophomore Giovanni Vela said he was not surprised to see the United States team fall shy of the cut, citing that the team’s performance was inconsistent during the qualifying rounds.

Sophomore Jared DeLisa agreed and said their performance would have cost them to lose, even if they did move forward.

“It doesn’t matter that they didn’t qualify since they would have just gotten knocked out in the group stage or round of 16,” DeLisa said. “If the USMNT couldn’t even beat Trinidad and Tobago, home or away, they don’t deserve to qualify for the World Cup,” DeLisa said.

Although the United States missed the cut, both Vela and DeLisa sided with the 65 percent who said they still plan on watching next summer.

US Soccer logo from Wikipedia Commons.

“I really only watch the World Cup when it comes to soccer, so it’s sad to see our team not qualify,” Junior James Humes said. Despite the elimination, Humes admitted that he will still tune in to the World Cup next summer.

The elimination has head coach Rob Dallas and the Cabrini soccer program pondering what the loss really means for the game as a whole.

“I think it may impact things in a positive way, to be honest; a change in leadership could really be a catalyst for change,” Dallas said. “We’ve seen plenty of growth in our developmental academies and our youth programs across the country, therefore change will be positive for all of the younger talent we have.”

Justin Barbuto, a midfielder for the Cabrini men’s soccer team, also agreed that the loss will have an impact internally within U.S. Soccer.

“With all of the money and resources that the USMNT has compared to other countries, it is embarrassing and inexcusable that they missed the cut,” Barbuta said. “The loss will definitely cause a shake-up, players like Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey aren’t who they used to be, its time for a change.”

Both Dallas and Barbuto acknowledged they are avid and soccer fans and wouldn’t miss out on watching the World Cup.

“Obviously as a soccer coach and a soccer junkie, I’m still gonna watch, but it will be sad not to see my home country play,” Dallas said.

“It’s going to be unusual not seeing a team representing our country,” Barbuto said. “Considering the money put into the program, there should be no excuse why the United States isn’t represented next year.”

“As a soccer fan in general, it’s disappointing to see this happen,” Dallas said. “It will certainly take a little of the excitement out of the World Cup for me next summer.”

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