Alexi Lalas had some harsh words for the United States Men’s National Team.
While broadcasting ahead of Sunday night’s MLS matchup between the Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy, Lalas took a moment to berate the U.S. Men’s National Team and their lacklustre performance thus far in World Cup qualifying.
Lalas, a former USMNT player himself, did not pull punches, calling out the leaders of the team by name, starting with their longtime keeper.
“Tim Howard, Tim, the Belgium game ended three years ago,” Lalas said. “We need you to save the ball now.”
He continued this format, going through many members of the team individually and calling them out for some aspect of their play, including Clint Dempsey (“Yeah, you’re a national team legend; now we need you to be a national team leader”), Michael Bradley (“The U.S. does not need you to be zen, the U.S. needs you to play better”), and Jozy Altidore (“Is this really as good as it gets? Because it’s still not good enough”).
Lalas went on to throw a dig at rising young star Christian Pulisic, adding after his slew of insults, “And, oh, by the way, to all the guys that I didn’t mention, it’s because you don’t even warrant a mention. That includes you too, Wonder Boy.”
His vitriol was not limited to the USMNT players — Lalas also found a moment to call out coach Bruce Arena, saying, “Bruce Arena. Jurgen Klinsmann lost at home to Mexico. You lost at home to Costa Rica. This is now all on you, not Jurgen.”
You can watch video of the harsh critique below.
Lalas is usually a loud supporter of the USMNT and promoter of the sport in general, but much of his criticism seems based in the fact that U.S. Soccer has more interest than ever before, and the current roster of players is not taking well enough advantage of their situation. With just two games left in CONCACAF World Cup qualification, the United States currently sits at fourth in The Hex, and will need to earn four points in its final two games to earn a ticket to Russia 2018.
Those games are just a few weeks away, and Lalas and USMNT supporters across the country will be looking for the squad to show a bit of life to signal that they might be capable of competing with super powers like Brazil and Germany on soccer’s biggest stage.
The USMNT kicks off against Panama on October 6 in Orlando, their last home game of The Hex.
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