U.S. men’s national soccer team fails to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup

United States’ coach Bruce Arena. (Photo credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

COUVA, Trinidad – The United States men’s national soccer team will not play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. stunningly lost to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 Tuesday night. That result will keep the U.S.A out of the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States could not recover.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

Entering the night, the Americans, ranked 28th in the world, needed only a tie against 99th ranked Trinidad, a loser of six straight qualifying matches. But Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat — coupled with Honduras’ surprising win vs. Mexico and Panama’s dramatic victory vs. Costa Rica keeps the United States off soccer’s biggest stage.