USA defender Matt Besler (left) after loss to host Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup qualifier on October 10, 2017, in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: CA-Images)
COUVA, Trinidad -- Stunned and contrite after being eliminated from FIFA World Cup contention, the United States made no excuses after a 2-1 loss to host Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF Hexagonal on Tuesday night.
The Americans had competed in seven consecutive World Cups, last missing out in 1986.
“We let ourselves down, we’ve let our fans and everybody who supports us back home down,” expressed Michael Bradley, the U.S. captain.
Bradley was hoping to play in his third World Cup.
“When things go wrong, you have no choice but to stand and face the music," he continued. "With time, a lot of time, be ready to move on in a strong way, but this one isn’t going away anytime soon. It was all there for us and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Defender Omar Gonzalez was just as upset, saying: "We let down an entire nation today.”
The 29-year-old Pachuca standout played a role in the defeat, redirecting Alvin Jones' right-wing cross into his own net to give Soca Warriors a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
“It’s one that will haunt me forever,” commented Gonzalez.
Head coach Bruce Arena, who had directed the U.S. to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, had no excuses.
“That was my job -- to get the team qualified for the World Cup,” the 66-year-old finished. “This game, in my view, was perfectly positioned for the U.S. team and we failed on the day. We have no excuses. We failed today.”