Now the President has a new embarrassment to tweet about.
Full disclosure, here: I know next to nothing about soccer. Except watching the Carolina men’s and women’s teams play, and an Olympic or World Cup match on occasion, I am clueless about the sport. I admire the artistry of the great players, but it lacks the scoring to feed my need for instant gratification.
Still, I could not get away from the outrage that, somehow, someway, the United States failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. We lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago, which was apparently bad enough, but it took a perfect storm of other wins and losses to eliminate the U.S. in favor of other countries that got in – like Iceland.
Commentators all over the sports channels and websites were the using terms like “complete embarrassment” and “total humiliation.” Pundits are painting this as a sign of insanity that we apparently have no unity between our soccer organizations and seemingly no ability to field a good team, having missed the last two Olympics and now the first World Cup in 30 years.
Social media was blaming former coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was fired last year, and new coach Bruce Arena, who has won five college cups and five Major League Soccer championships but apparently could not improve on what Klinsmann did or didn’t do. Arena called it a total failure and offered no excuses. He did congratulate Iceland.
One talking, or should I say screaming, head ridiculed the U.S. for missing the World Cup while Iceland, a country the size of Corpus Christi, Texas, made it. They said every player on the U.S. team – and, again, I cannot name one of them – will have nightmares for the rest of their lives over this failure.
Frankly, what worries me more than their night sweats is that the uproar will find its way to the President’s Twitter account. By now, he’s probably tweeted out something that ended with three words. Defeat. Unacceptable. Bad.
Is this really that bad? After all, it’s not a home-grown sport. If the USA Basketball team failed to qualify for the Olympics or did not win the Gold Medal, like in 2004, that would be a big deal. But not making the World Cup? If our team was really that bad, who would have watched it anyway?