The United States did not quality for the 2018 World Cup, ending a long streak of the country’s participation in the event.
On Tuesday night, the U.S. men’s national soccer team dropped a 2-1 contest to Trinidad and Tobago. In two games that affected the USMNT’s standing, Panama came from behind to defeat Costa Rica 2-1, while Honduras overcame its own deficit to pull of a 3-2 victory over Mexico.
With their respective wins, Panama and Honduras both passed the U.S. in the CONCACAF standings. The result is certainly a disappointment for the U.S., which had not missed a World Cup since 1986.
The U.S. had won 4-0 over Panama on Friday, and needed a victory or tie to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Its loss, however, puts the U.S. on the outside looking in for 2018, a frustrating result for coach Bruce Arena and U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati. More from The New York Times:
“We didn’t qualify for the World Cup,” Arena said after Tuesday’s loss. “That was my job.”
He added: “We have no excuses. We failed today.”
Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, echoed his coach’s disappointment.
“We certainly expected to qualify, throughout the process, and especially after Friday night,” he said, adding, “It’s a huge disappointment for everybody; the players, the staff, the coaches, the federation.”
With its victory, Panama will be making its first trip to the World Cup. Honduras is now slated to face Australia in a two-leg playoff that is scheduled for November.
Photo from 2012 Concacaf qualifying match by Brett Flanders.