Oct. 18, 2017
A Letter to U.S. Soccer by Riley McManus
Dear US Soccer,
You failed. There’s no way around the fact that you dropped the ball last night. You don’t deserve to go the World Cup. The fans, the media that supports you, the 13 year old that was going to watch you next summer DESERVES you to be there, but you don’t deserve it. The coaches don’t, the players don’t, and the management doesn’t. Panama showed that they deserved to play in your place. Honduras showed that they deserve to have an opportunity to play for a place in Russia. You didn’t. You lost to Trinidad & Tobago. I cried my eyes out for an hour after you screwed yourself over. I cried that this is it for your legends Clint Dempsey & Tim Howard. This. Was. It. They will never play a meaningful game for the USMNT again. You’ve wasted that moment for us too. To send our heroes out into the sunset, and now it’s gone.
To call out individuals, President Gulati, you have to go. Your efforts to make this team better by hiring people and making adjustments to put this team in the “best position possible” have failed. You didn’t do the main part of your job, which is making the Men’s World Cup. Bruce Arena, you had one job. You failed. You failed in a way that I’m sure Jurgen wouldn’t have. The players, you aren’t good enough. We’ve been asking you to step it up, we’ve been asking you to challenge yourself in whatever league pushes you the hardest. Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Clint Demspey, Alejandro Bedoya, Brad Guzan: you came back to be cuddled, spoiled American soccer stars to be treated like kings when what you really ended up being is a bunch of fools. You deserve nothing.
Lastly, to Christian Pulisic, thank you. You’ve been the player we’ve prayed about, we’ve dreamed about, and we got. You contributed on 71% of USMNT Hex goals; you’ve been what we asked you to be and more. YOU, a 19 year old kid, are our best player.
US Soccer, I love you. I do. You inspired me to be better, you’ve made me be happy beyond belief and hope in a hopeless way. You make me smile and you make me laugh. I’m saying this because I love you. Be better. I deserve better than this. Your Outlaws deserve better. America deserves better. I feel in love with soccer and I’ll accept all that comes with that. The thrill of winning a huge match, the agony of missing the World Cup, the pain for days, weeks, years after. I’m okay with that. That’s what I signed up for, but that doesn’t take away the pain, heartache, and tears. I cried over you. Millions of Americans cried over you. Please fix it and show us that you really care. It’s the least you can do after what we went through.
P.S. I’m rooting for Iceland next summer, not Mexico. Show me that kinda love.