The US in a huge hole to start World Cup qualifying

Published Monday, November 21, 2016 2:25 PM by Shane Barrow
The US in a huge hole to start World Cup qualifying

The US men's soccer team finds themselves in a precarious position after the opening two final round qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup. Sitting dead last in the six team hexagonal the boys are going to have to really scramble now to qualify for Russia. Any more slipups and an embarrassing World Cup absence could be imminent.

It was a week to end all awful weeks for the US soccer. In the opening match Jurgen Klinsmann got the tactics all wrong with three center backs to face Mexico.  It allowed El Tri to boss the opening half and finally conquer the fortress that was Columbus.  Bobby Wood got the match back tied after the break only to see an awful set piece break down allowing Mexico to steal the three points late on.

The loss left the Americans reeling as they crashed to their arch rivals from the south .  Even more daunting was the quick trip down to Costa Rica where the US had never won a qualifier.  Ever. Costa Rica was returning home off an impressive road victory in Trinidad and we're ready for the visiting US.

You thought the Mexico game was bad.  The Costa Rica game was a total disaster in all phases.  Costa Rica's tactical plan was brilliant. Allow the Americans into the attack and then launch a long ball into their forwards where they were matched one v one with the big, slow American center backs Omar Gonzalez and John Brooks.

it worked to perfection as the shifty, speedy strikers were simply too much for the outmatched center backs with no help.  If it weren't for a few Brad Guzan saves in one v one situations this game could have easily gone five, six or seven to the bad.  The performance was simply that awful.

Jozy Altidore. Awful. Jermaine Jones. Awful. Omar Gonzalez. Awful. John Brooks. Awful. Honestly one of the most disappointing performances I have seen in all my years of National Team play.

The reality of the week is that the Americans are dead last in the group. Only eight matches left and it is going to take some serious digging to get out of this hole.  Basically Mexico & Costa Rica are gone.  Already a whopping six points ahead.  Going to be next to impossible to catch either of them given how abysmal the American's goal difference is.  That leaves only one spot for Russia 2018.

The target will be Panama who is on four points. The US will need wins in their final four home games for sure. Then they are going to need to go get some results on the road.  Trinidad is a must win. They'll also need a result in Honduras.  Most importantly they cannot lose the game in Panama.  A loss there would make Panama very difficult to catch for that third spot.

It's refreshing to hear a new coach is coming for the new year.  Jurgen Klinsmann's time has passed and new blood is needed.  The squad needs a fresh approach.  The squad needs a coach with new ideas. The squad needs a coach willing to look at some different players.  Get ready for a wild 2017 US soccer fans.  I can only hope it is better than the horrific way 2016 has ended.