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Rejects World Cup: How the USMNT should spend next summer

Let’s host our own tournament.

Tuesday night was the end of the long and grueling adventure known as the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal. All of us love The Hex for all of it’s quirks and surprises. As always, the United States Men’s National Team overcame all of their issues and qualified for World Cup 2018.

What’s that? They lost to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night and won’t be allowed to compete in the World Cup next summer in Russia? Are you serious? Wow. That was not expected.

Well, I have an idea! Let’s host our own summer tournament.

I know what you’re thinking. “Phillip, that’s stupid. Why would anyone want to play in a tournament next summer that’s not the World Cup.” To be honest, nobody would, but that’s not the situation we’re in this time.

The men put us in this situation, so why shouldn’t we make the most of this? Why should we fans suffer a boring World Cup due to the ineptitude of US Soccer, Sunil Gulati, Jurgen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena, and the players of the Men’s National Team? I’m here to say that we shouldn’t, and they should make our summer a little brighter.

How do they do that? They host that tournament that I was talking about earlier.

Logistically, there should be zero issues with this tournament. With the World Cup games taking place during the day in the USA, these games would be played in the evening. There wouldn’t be any overlap of games between this tournament and the World Cup. So, why not do this?

From where I sit, you could do this in two different ways.

Option 1: Two groups of three. Top team in each group plays in a final.

Option 2: Two groups of four. Top two teams in each group advance to a semifinal, final.

At most, you’d be looking at playing five games. I think I know a major television network in the United States that will not be broadcasting the World Cup this summer that might be interested in airing such a venture. (Hint: It’s ESPN.) Over a two to two and a half week period, you could hold this event.

There’s already an abundance of teams that you could invite for the event, and the potential exists that a few more could be available as well pending the results of the various playoffs. Obviously, there are more than another one hundred potential teams, but here is a start.

Available: Austria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Netherlands, Paraguay, Scotland, Turkey, USA, Wales

Playoff Pending: Australia, Croatia, Italy, Ivory Coast, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Republic of Ireland

As you can see, there are more than enough potential opponents for this tournament, and it could be a tiny way to distract from the epic failure thrust upon American fans by US Soccer, Gulati, Klinsmann, and Arena.

So, why not?