Alexi Lalas: 'United States failure to reach World Cup is disastrous'

Former United States defender Alexis Lalas believes that the team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup is "disastrous" for football in the nation.

Alexis Lalas has described the United States' failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup as "devastating" and "disastrous" for football in the nation.

The USA lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago on Monday night to finish fifth in the CONCACAF standings and miss out on their first World Cup since 1986.

Lalas, capped 96 times for the USMNT, told Fox Sports: "Waking up this morning and realizing that the United States men's national team will not be involved in a World Cup next summer, it is devastating. It is disastrous.

"Every four years, from a men's perspective, we have this platform. And for next summer, we will have wasted that platform. And it hurts the game, it hurts the players, it hurts the perception of the players and the game, both domestically and internationally.

"It didn't have to happen. And that's what's so frustrating. It's one thing if we're just not any good. It's one thing if the soccer gods do something. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

"We can't blame the other teams, we can't blame referees, we can't blame the weather. We have nobody to blame but ourselves for this incredible failure."

Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama have qualified automatically for the World Cup, while Honduras will take on Australia in a playoff.

A general view of Brazuca and the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the Maracana before the adidas Brazuca launch on December 3, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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