Ouch. For the first time since Ronald Reagan was president, the United States men’s team has failed to qualify for the World Cup. The U.S. men’s national soccer team was shut out of international soccer’s biggest event by a 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad & Tobago.
The match was revenge of a sort for the island nation, which was infamously eliminated from the 1990 World Cup in November 1989 thanks to a defeat by the United States. That victory brought an end to a 36-year drought — America had last qualified for the 1940 World Cup.
The United States went on to qualify for every subsequent World Cup, (it hosted the event in 1994), and though it never came close to winning, it did at least get to play. This time out, the team was by all accounts playing very poorly, and couldn’t match up to Trinidad and Tobago.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is being held in Russia from June 14 to July 15.
American soccer fans were understandably dejected and Twitter was awash in lamentations and bitter jokes.
But as other fans noted, all is not lost. The United States does in fact have a world championship level soccer team — the women’s national soccer team, with one of the best players in the world (Megan Rapinoe) on it — which, unfortunately, is being paid much less than the perennially-losing men’s team.