What do Costa Rica, Panama early exits say about US soccer?

first_imgBicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees “It’s an extra twist of the knife,” said former U.S. forward Taylor Twellman, now ESPN’s lead soccer analyst. “It’s another reminder that the failure to qualify is an absolute debacle.”Beaten 3-0 by Belgium in its opener, Panama gave up five goals in the first half Sunday in a 6-1 loss to England. Costa Rica was defeated 1-0 by Serbia and 2-0 by Brazil.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMexico is in good position to advance to the round of 16 after victories over defending champion Germany and South Korea. While the North and Central American and Caribbean region had three nations in the knockout rounds four years ago, this will be CONCACAF’s first World Cup since 2006 with fewer than two.“Mexico is a good, solid team. So is Costa Rica. Panama is an inferior team in the competition,” former U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. “I feel strongly that we should have been the third team, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.” The U.S. qualified for seven straight World Cups and advanced to the knockout round four times during that streak before missing this year’s tournament.Costa Rica defeated the U.S. twice in qualifying, a 4-0 home rout in November 2016 that caused the U.S. Soccer Federation to fire coach Jurgen Klinsmann and bring back Arena, and a 2-0 win in New Jersey last September.Panama rallied with a late first-half goal to tie the U.S. at home in March 2017, and the Americans won 4-0 in Florida last October. The U.S. then lost 2-1 at Trinidad and Tobago, when only a tie was needed to qualify. The Americans finished fifth in the six-nation final round, falling below Honduras, which lost a playoff to Australia.“If the United States had qualified, we would have done much better than Costa Rica and Panama,” said Steve Sampson, the U.S. coach from 1995-98. “I know that Panama finished ahead of the United States in the qualification phase, but with all the previous experience the United States would have, I’ve got to believe and I do believe that they would have done much better than Costa Rica and Panama in this World Cup.”Former U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller said the failure of the U.S. to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics was a sign of trouble to come.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial “Our under-23s over an eight-year, 10-year period have not been as good as the rest of CONCACAF, and that’s eventually going to filter up to your national team, and it doesn’t surprise me that we had this struggle,” he said before adding: “Are we better than Panama? Of course we are.”If Mexico moves on to the knockout rounds, which is likely, 13 of 24 CONCACAF teams (54 percent) will have reached the round of 16 since 1990: Mexico seven times, the U.S. four and Costa Rica twice.“I think we have a long way to go,” CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani said. “We still rank behind only UEFA on CONMEBOL in terms of points per game in World Cups historically, but obviously now our fate in terms of a run is in the hands of Mexico.”Arena said poor officiating in CONCACAF holds back the region and cited Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha’s decisions to award penalty kicks when Fidel Escobar and Roman Torres knocked over Jesse Lingard, and when Anibal Godoy wrestled Harry Kane to the ground. That led to a pair of successful spot kicks by Kane as England built a 5-0 lead.“The things that happened today with Panama were typical of CONCACAF competition, but they’re never punished for it. In my view, the officiating hurts the progress of the region,” Arena said. “You’d have to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer for them to call a penalty kick in CONCACAF.”Montagliani took Arena’s criticism in stride.“That’s a bit of hyperbole from Bruce,” he said. “We’re always trying to improve refereeing. I think in this last qualifying, it’s the best I’ve seen it in a long time in CONCACAF. Obviously, spoken like a true coach, Bruce has always been griping about referees.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Pekerman dedicates Colombia’s win to Carlos Sanchez LATEST STORIES Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas fails to stop Serbia’s Aleksandar Kolarov scoring the opening goal during the group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)MOSCOW — Costa Rica and Panama were overwhelmed at the World Cup, both going two and out.What does that say about the United States, which didn’t even make it to soccer’s showcase?ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img

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