Their exit was confirmed by results in Tuesday's other Concacaf qualifiers, where Panama booked their place at the World Cup for the first time with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in Panama City. Honduras then snatched fourth place in the table with a 3-2 win over Mexico, who had already qualified. The Hondurans will now face Australia in a two-legged playoff next month for a place in the finals.
In my life... idk if I've ever seen a larger setback for USA soccer Well... Ever...— Mike LaBelle (@HashtagMike18) October 11, 2017
But the shock of the night was without a doubt the US failure at the final hurdle. Bruce Arena's side had needed only a draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium to be virtually certain of securing at least a playoff spot. After thrashing Panama 4-0 last Friday, the Americans had arrived in the Caribbean confident of securing the result needed to extend a proud record of qualifying for every World Cup since 1990.
USA soccer is basically Arkansas football. Mostly average. Brief brushes with greatness. And embarrassing losses at the worst possible times— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) October 11, 2017
Yet it started to go wrong for Arena's men after 17 minutes when Gonzalez's sliced clearance looped high and over the stranded Tim Howard to put T & T 1-0 up. It got worse just after the half-hour mark when Alvin Jones produced a goal out of nothing to double the home side's lead. Gathering the ball on the right flank, roughly 35 yards from goal, Jones let fly with a ferocious shot which flew past Howard to make it 2-0.
USA actually has superb youth soccer but we trot out Tim Howard who's almost 40 & Bruce Arena relevant 15 years ago & expect results? #USMNTOctober 11, 2017