It’s been 35 years since Peru’s last appearance at a FIFA World Cup finals, a streak of hurt dating back to the 1982 tournament in Spain. By improbably finishing fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying, ahead of back-to-back Copa America champions Chile and 2014 finalists Ecuador, a home-and-away playoff against Oceania representative New Zealand is the only thing standing in the way of Peru punching their ticket to Russia.
Men's World Cup
Russia and Qatar will host the next two World Cups. But neither country is very good at soccer. It may be hypocritical right now to throw dirt on Russia and Qatar after the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup themselves, but let’s be bitter Americans and point out all the teams that are better than Russia and Qatar in soccer.
A wonderful 4-0 victory over Panama back on October 6 sees the United States Men’s National Team climb to 27 in the latest FIFA World Rankings, leaving Ukraine, Turkey and Iran in their torrential wake. The U.S. could’ve made further strides with a win against Trinidad and Tobago, but the Soca Warriors used the shock 2-1 victory to their own advantage, climbing up 16 places to 83.
Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer, just oversaw the most catastrophic defeat in U.S. Men’s National Team history, with the coaches he hired failing to get the U.S. to the 2018 World Cup. But Gulati was defiant Friday, saying he would not resign and made no indication he would not seek reelection in February.
U.S. Soccer Federation announced a conference call for Friday morning with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati addressing the media after the recent World Cup qualifiers. It would surprise no one if Gulati announces Bruce Arena is no longer the coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team — it would probably be a bigger surprise if he didn’t. The question then is, who will be the next USMNT coach?
The USMNT is obviously hurting along with the rest of us right now. As such, the players’ social media accounts have pretty much gone quiet since Tuesday. After the debacle in Trinidad and Tobago, Bruce Arena, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and Omar Gonzalez all addressed the media and answered questions. You can watch the first three in the video above and Gonzalez in the video below.
The U.S. Men's National Team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia marked the worst moment in recent history for a country still trying to establish itself in world footballing circles. Watching the World Cup just won't be the same without the USA there.
Sweden are still in the running for the 2018 World Cup. They will have to win a playoff against another UEFA team but have been playing well as of late. Sweden's current squad would be a fun addition to the World Cup, but do you know what would be more fun?