WATCH: Alexi Lalas calls out the USMNT in epic rant after poor World Cup qualifying matches
Lalas says 'wonder boy' Christian Pulisic doesn't even warrant a mention
You won't find many more people that care as much about the U.S. men's national team as former star defender Alexi Lalas. Now working as a television analyst, the red-haired, free-spirited Lalas always seems to be cool, calm and collective when breaking down the national team's performance in World Cup qualifiers. However, during the halftime break of Sunday night's MLS broadcast between Seattle and Los Angeles, Lalas lost his cool and went on a wild, epic rant, lashing out on Bruce Arena and specific players after the team's poor 2-0 loss to Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw at Honduras. Take a listen, with the biggest moments transcribed below in case you are at work and can't turn that volume up:
On the current situation:
"It's dark days indeed, but this is a time for leaders to step up. And so to the supposed leaders, I will say this ..."
On Tim Howard:
"Tim, the Belgium game ended three years ago. We need you to save the ball now."
On Geoff Cameron:
"Clean it up, or lets get someone who will."
On Clint Dempsey:
"You're a national team legend, now we need you to be a national team leader."
On Michael Bradley:
"The U.S. does not need you to be zen, the U.S. needs you to play better."
On Jozy Altidore:
"Is this really as good as it gets? Becuase it's still not good enough."
On coach Bruce Arena:
"Jurgen Klinsmann lost at home to Mexico. You lost at home to Costa Rica. This is now all on you and not Jurgen."
And he even called out Christian Pulisic:
"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."
"What are you guys going to do? Are you going to continue to be a bunch of soft, under performing, tattooed millionaires? You are a soccer generation that has been given everything. You are a soccer generation who is on the verge of squandering everything. So, now it's time to pay it back. Make us believe again. You don't owe it to yourselves, you owe it to us."
Wow. Quite shocking to see Lalas go off like that. Sure, the U.S. went from a good spot in qualifying to an OK spot after getting just one point from the last two matches, but this still does seem a bit harsh. Every team has ups and downs, but that point at Honduras was so valuable and could be huge when it is all said and done.
Arena's squad currently sits in fourth place and one point away from direct qualification. If the World Cup were to start today, the Americans would be in a play-in round against Syria or Australia for the final ticket to Russia. The Americans host Panama and go to Trinidad and Tobago for the final two matches of the hexagonal group stage, and are still expected to qualify. But if the team slips up, it could very well miss out on the World Cup next summer. Imagine what Lalas will say then.
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