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Wednesday cannon fodder: What if the US is just bad at soccer?

Trinidad & Tobago v United States  - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images

The US failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since I was in high school. But here’s the thing: The US isn’t that great at soccer. I’m disappointed the US didn’t make it to Russia, but I’m not terribly surprised; they’re kind of at their level, a team that works hard but doesn’t have the technical skill to make serious waves on the world level. You didn’t really expect a team starting Matt Besler and Michael Bradley to do serious damage, did you?

CONCACAF is usually kind to the US before they’re found out at the World Cup, but not this year. This year the US goes home before the summer for the first time in 31 years. It’s time to ask some serious questions about the US Soccer setup, from pay-to-play to Sunil Gulati. Everything should be on the table now, everything should be subject to review and improvement. Be mad today, but tomorrow let’s start making things better.

World Cup hopes end for woeful USA after shambolic display vs Trinidad and Tobago - ESPN FC
Quite possibly the worst performance by a US men's team in a generation means that the US will not be going to Russia next summer.

Lionel Messi hat-trick secures Argentina's passage to World Cup | Football | The Guardian
Amazing how one of the two best players on the planet can singlehandedly haul his country to the World Cup.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mané ruled out for up to six weeks after injuring hamstring | Football | The Guardian
The Liverpool forward Sadio Mané has sustained a hamstring injury playing for Senegal and could be out of action for up to six weeks

Premier League says any Christmas Eve games will kick off before 4pm | Football | The Guardian
The Premier League has agreed that any games on Christmas Eve will kick off before 4pm amid controversy over holding matches that day, the Football Supporters’ Federation has said

Despite what football clubs say, the support for rejected boys is not there | David Conn | Football | The Guardian
Football club academies are taking in boys as young as five but ‘just throw them on the scrapheap’ further down the line according to one parent.

I leave you with this Taylor Twellman rant which is beautiful in its simplicity: