There are hardly any words that can do justice to the feelings of disappointment, anger, and dumbfoundedness that come from watching your men’s national team fail to make the World Cup. Our gut wrenches for our #AOFamily that is hurting today. Our USMNT will not be in the World Cup and this is something that hits home with all of us.
Dramatic changes must be made at many levels, but it all starts at the top. In no uncertain terms, the President of the United States Soccer Federation, Sunil Gulati, must go. Despite past successes he has presided over an unmitigated disaster and the Federation needs fresh leadership and ideas from top to bottom. Bruce Arena was brought in with the singular mission of getting us to the World Cup. He has failed and should step down as well. The buck stops with them and we call on them to accept the responsibility of this outcome. As for the players we thank them and will always be behind them in the stands. We ask that the next time the players step on the field for their country they individually and collectively play with a renewed sense of urgency as we reinvigorate the fan base and begin to build towards qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
So, the time is now to pick ourselves up and get back to work. The men’s national team will play again and they will resume qualification for the next World Cup. As supporters, we will be there each time. We have a U-17 team in their World Cup (next match Thursday vs. Colombia at 10:30am ET on FS2) and a women’s national team that is the current World Cup champions with a title to defend through their own qualification and journey to France in 2019. These teams deserve our full support and we will continue to work hard to give it to them.
We will continue to grow our efforts in the community, from Community Days to ball donations to fundraisers. Make no mistake: the American Outlaws will continue to Unite & Strengthen by example in growing the game in the United States through positive, passionate support.
How do we as supporters shift the paradigm that has taken U.S. Soccer so far and yet so woefully short in the end? How can we make a difference as American Outlaws? We can challenge ourselves – old & young, non-members and members – to roll up our sleeves and start in our own backyards and hometowns. Get involved in your local soccer communities: join a local supporters group (learn some new things to bring back to AO), coach, referee, volunteer, and play soccer again yourself.
How can you help? Join us. Get involved (http://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/membership). Reach out to your local chapter leaders (www.theamericanoutlaws.com/chapters). Let us know what we can do (firstname.lastname@example.org). We all have a stake in this, and if we’re going to continue to make changes and grow the game, we will need your support over the coming weeks and months and years.
Thank you all for being a part of this great organization. We look forward to building the next, next generation of soccer support with you all.