No, no, no and no. The real reason the US men's soccer team didn't qualify for the 2018 World Cup is because the players that were chosen for that team did not represent the "best" US National players. Bruce "go with what I know" Arena chose MLS players instead of the better and more qualified US nationals playing Internationally. Articles like this simply demonstrate the idiocy of sports writers in America and the fact we are blind to the level of substandard play the MLS represents compared to International soccer.Ok enough with the P2p, getting old but ever articles has to mention it.
Here's the real reason why the US men's soccer team didn't qualify for the 2018 World Cup
Here is the USMNT that played against Trinidad Tobago and lost:
25 Players - 15 that play in the MLS and 8 that play Internationally.
Here is the USMNT that played against Ireland and France and took France to a draw:
24 Players - 4 that currently play in the MLS and 20 that play Internationally.
With regard to the rosters for Trinidad and then France:
Starting 11 for the USMNT against Trinidad Tobago (MLS players in Red):
USA: Howard; Yedlin, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafaña; Nagbe, Bradley, Pulisic, Arriola; Altidore, Wood.
Speaking of that French game (https://www.ussoccer.com/matches/mnt/2018/20180609-mnt-vs-france#tab-1), there was no question that the US wasn't at the same level from a time of possession and shot differential, but did well enough that is soccer.
The lads that actually played the game (note, MLS players are in Red):
USA: 12-Zack Steffen; 18-Shaq Moore (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 74), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 3-Matt Miazga (14-Erik Palmer-Brown, 57), 21-Tim Parker, 17-Antonee Robinson (19-Jorge Villafaña, 82); 4-Tyler Adams, 20-Wil Trapp (capt.), 6-Weston McKennie; 16-Julian Green (8-Joe Corona, 70), 7-Bobby Wood (13-Josh Sargent, 74)
Substitutes: 1-Bill Hamid, 11-Tim Weah, 15-Eric Lichaj, 23-Rubio Rubin
So what we can reasonably conclude based on the rosters and results is that playing no more than 4 MLS players might get us a tie against top competition. Playing 6 or more MLS players and we lose. It therefore follows that since the players on the field are the ones that actually play the game (not youth academy players) that building a USMNT from International professional players is good, more than a few MLS players is bad.
The bigger lesson here is that the MLS is only as strong as its weakest link. Our National Team is as strong as its weakest links. The players train and play against each other. We have great talent in the MLS and that talent is wasted and doesn't improve at the same level versus our talent that moves to International level 1 teams/play.
Croatia, a country of 4 million (same size as the City of Los Angeles) can field a World Cup semi-finalist team because its National team players are forged in top level leagues with top level player that play top level competition.
Good news, is we now have a GM (Ernie Stewart, a soccer guy with significant international experience), we have a new President that appreciates what he doesn't know (Gulati was delusional and a legend in his own mind) and we will have a coach that understands the MLS is a B or C level league from an international perspective and will encourage US nationals to go play with the big boys Internationally.