But if you want to torch the system and scorch the earth, understand first that U.S. Soccer's/soccer's idiosyncrasies didn't stop it from playing in the previous seven World Cup
s (one of which it hosted.) It's important to isolate variables. Our system has many flaws, but it took a little bit extra to achieve what the USA managed over the past year-plus. Missing out on the 2018 World Cup
was about the failure of individual men to do what a quarter century of forebears found a way to achieve. It was about poor leadership, poor planning, poor play and, yes, a few inches here or there.