Arenas work and Klinsmann’s contribution – watch world cup 2018 in USA

Seven times in a row, the US participated in football World Cups. That the team now landed behind Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras, is not only due to coach Bruce Arena – but also to his German predecessor.

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The task sounded feasible. The US national football team would have been in the last World Cup qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago already a draw for the trip 2018 to Russia. A point at the bottom of the table. A team that has lost the past six qualifiers. For nine games is winless. “Win and you’re in,” was the motto for the US. What should happen?

That’s what happened, which despite the hitherto unconvincing performance in the qualifying, hardly anyone in the USA thought it possible. The Americans lost after a listless presentation 1: 2 . At the same time Panama won 2-1 against Costa Rica and qualified for the first time for a World Cup. Honduras secured a play-off spot against Mexico thanks to a 3-2 win, making the US a World Cup winner for the first time since 1986.

“We do not have to blame anyone else except ourselves,” says Jozy Altidore. The striker leaned against a gray wall in the catacombs of the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. He spoke softly, trying to put it into words that simply could not be put into words.

US coach Bruce Arena

US coach Bruce Arena

US coach Bruce Arena

The US is not a big football nation globally. But at least they have been a fixture in the Concacaf association since 1990. The only serious opponent of Mexico. In the summer of 2018, they will now be sitting at home and watching TV as Panama plays at the World Cup.

What now? What’s next? And who is to blame for this “huge setback,” as Altidore called it? The first look goes to Bruce Arena. The coach then took over the “full responsibility”. But of course there is also his predecessor, Jürgen Klinsmann . He had started with two defeats against Mexico and Costa Rica in this last World Cup qualifying round and then dismissed .

Klinsmann had taken over the coaching job in the summer of 2011, led the USA into the round of 16 in Brazil and even spoke of the semi-final as a goal at the World Cup in Russia. But he had also missed continuity , repeatedly used players outside of their traditional positions and thus lost the hearing within the team. Klinsmann can not free himself from a partial debt. And he was experienced enough not to follow in the hour of shame. “I’ve seen the game, but I do not want to say anything, it just would not be right,” Klinsmann told The New York Times.

Jürgen Klinsmann as US coach at a 2015 game

Jürgen Klinsmann as US coach at a 2015 game


Arena was the logical transitional solution for many in autumn 2016. The former national coach knew the US association, the Concacaf region, was familiar with the Major League Soccer, the domestic US league. And Arena, as it was heard again and again, had led the USA 2002 in the World Cup quarter-finals. That it was also that arena that failed in 2006 at the World Cup in Germany in the preliminary round and won only one point against the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana, was often overlooked. And some of his views (“the bulk of the US national team should consist of players in Major League Soccer”) should have already indicated that Arena is outdated.

At the 1: 2 in Trinidad and Tobago were actually nine of the 14 professionals used MLS players – including Clint Dempsey (34 years) and goalkeeper Timo Howard (38). That both are still indispensable despite their age says a lot about the talents level. Apart from Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, there is no one in the squad who achieves above-average international levels.


The fact that the USA will stay at home in 2018 not only has sporting consequences, but also economic ones. Fox had secured the English-language broadcasting rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments for $ 400 million. Instead of having at least three US games with millions of viewers in front of the TV sets, the TV channel now has to find a way to interest Americans so much for their product that they will still be on. But one thing is already clear: 25 million as three years ago will definitely not look. The FIFA will be annoyed. At the World Cup in Brazil came the second most ticket orders from the US. Only the hosts had more.

“We have disappointed a whole nation,” says defender Omar Gonzalez. Well, the disappointment is manageable. Because the majority of the approximately 323 million Americans did not know anything about this match. The most important part of the national football team since 1989 was shown on the special channel beIN Sports, the commentators did not even travel to the venue Couva, they commented from the US.

For the majority of Americans, missing the World Cup will be a side note – for now. There are currently MLB playoffs, the NBA season starts next week – and on Sunday will again be around 30 million in front of the TV set and watch NFL. Soccer is not a daily topic in the USA in 2017, but – similar to the Olympic Games – arouses interest only every four years. And so in June, many people between Connecticut and California will be surprised that in Russia, the World Cup is played – and Team USA is not there.

watch world cup 2018 in USA