Lalas launches tirade against USMNT: 'Underperforming, tattooed millionaires'
Alexi Lalas always grabs a chance to voice his opinion to the public, even if it means exploiting the situation in which the United States Men's National Team finds itself.
During Sunday's broadcast of the 1-1 draw between the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy, Lalas, who represented the USMNT at the 1994 World Cup and is employed as a soccer analyst by FOX Sports, didn't hold back in his criticism of the Stars and Stripes, referring to them as "soft, underperforming, tattooed millionaires."
The USMNT's hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup took a hit by virtue of a 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica, and it needed a dramatic equaliser from Bobby Wood to rescue a point as the Americans played out a 1-1 draw in Honduras. The results left them sitting fourth in The Hex. Three national teams will punch a ticket to Russia, while whoever finishes fourth will be forced to go through an inter-confederation play-off involving Syria or Australia.
"It's dark days, indeed, but this is a time for leaders to step up," Lalas said. "And so to the supposed leaders, I will say this: Tim Howard. Tim, the Belgium game ended three years ago. We need you to save the ball now. Geoff Cameron. Clean it up, or let's get someone who will. Clint Dempsey. Yeah, you're a national-team legend; now we need you to be a national-team leader. Michael Bradley. The US does not need you to be zen, the US needs you to play better. Jozy Altidore. Is this really as good as it gets? Because it's still not good enough.
"Bruce Arena. Bruce, Jurgen Klinsmann lost at home to Mexico. You lost at home to Costa Rica. This is now all on you. Not Jurgen. Oh, and by the way, to all the guys that I didn't mention, it's because you don't warrant a mention. That includes you, too, Wonderboy.
"So, what are you guys going to do? Are you going to continue to be a bunch of soft, underperforming, tattooed millionaires? You are a soccer generation that has been given everything; you are a soccer generation who's on the verge of squandering everything."
The USMNT will finish its adventure in The Hex by hosting Panama at Orlando City Stadium on Oct. 6 and invading Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10. If the Stars and Stripes win both games, the only way they will miss out on the 2018 World Cup is if Honduras wins its last matches and surpasses the US on goal difference.
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