The US isn’t going to the World Cup. As shocking as that is, it’s the reality of the situation. The US were quite frankly terrible throughout the entirety of qualification (even going back to the semi-final round where they needed a 4-0 win against Guatemala to avoid being dumped out) and honestly deserved this fate.
You will never sell me that that group of 11 players that took the field against Trinidad & Tobago cared at all about making it to Russia. The complete lack of effort, the walking around, the end result is an absolute disgrace. Everybody not named Christian Pulisic and Bobby Wood had better take a long hard look at themselves and ask how did they let it get to this? So with no World Cup next summer to look forward to, the US must look way into the future (the next meaningful games won’t be played until around July of 2019 at the Gold Cup) and figure out how to make sure this never happens again. Obviously change at the top within the federations but that’s already been written about a dozen times in the last 24 hours. The focus now should be on overhauling the player pool.
Here are some players that we need to see more of and some players that we never need to see again.
Players to phase out and/or drop entirely
Jozy Altidore – For years Jozy Altidore has been hyped as a great player for the US. But now fans are sick of him. He rarely scores in clutch moments but if you’re up 5-1 against St. Vincent & the Grenadines or you need an opening goal in a January camp friendly against Iceland or you’re up 3-0 in the 80th minute against Guatemala he’s there. If you need an equalizer with your World Cup hopes on the line? Not so much. Not only does he only score when the US doesn’t need him to, he spends 50% of the game just whining. Whining about poor service, whining about the referee, whining about everything. In ten Hexagonal games, he registered just two goals. That’s not acceptable. He’s now third all-time on the US scoring charts and for him to get any closer to the record would be a travesty of justice to Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey (who both scored big goals in big moments time and time again). Get out.