The 2018 Football World Cup, which is to be hosted in Russia, will be taking place without the U. S. soccer team in it. Their absence from the games is not significant of some sort of a political stance, but rather reflects the poor performance of the men’s team during the qualifying stage. Their poor performance has been dubbed nothing short of humiliating.
The Trinidad and Tobago team defeated the United States team with a score of 2- 1 on Tuesday, the 10th of October 2017. The corresponding score of 3- 2 from the Honduras Vs Mexico game resulted in the elimination of the American team from next year’s World Cup games.
A big surprise and upset
Everyone had high hopes for the US soccer team this time. Moneylines at sportsbooks were in favour of the USA team, at around -400, compared to Trinidad and Tobago, which was given odds of +1000. This means, according to the oddsmakers, the US team was given approximately 80 per cent chance to win.
To secure a place in the 2018 Football World Cup Games, the US team had to secure two out of two wins from their final two matches. They had cornered themselves into this position with dull performances in the earlier hexagonal round.
After defeating Panama at 4- 0 last week, on Friday, Trinidad and Tobago was expected to be the easier win for the American team. However as we have noted, the actual outcome of the match was quite different.
Bruce Arena, the coach of the USA Soccer team, referred to the loss as “disappointing”.
Omar Gonzalez, who plays for Pachuca in Liga MX and the U. S. Men's National Team, called it the “worst day of [his] career.”
At the same time, Jeff Carlisle, a sports writer for ESPN, who specialises in soccer, claimed that the loss was one of the “most embarrassing defeat[s]” in US soccer history.
The popularity of soccer has been growing slowly but surely in the USA. While they still have a lot of catching up to do with many of the European countries, they were deemed better than their most recent performance on the field.
Carlisle said that their defeat was difficult for fans to accept for many reasons but that did not mean that the outcome as a whole was not humiliating for the entire team.
He said, “It’s a result that is difficult to process on many levels. But let’s be clear: It’s the most embarrassing defeat in US soccer history,”
Both the population and the available resources of USA team are far greater than that of the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup football team. Therefore, it is saddening for the whole 323 million people of the USA to have reached this position. None the less, the 1.37 million Trinidad and Tobago supporters must be pleased with the outcome.
Nevada Sportsbooks Have Been Impacted by Defeat
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, also known as the CONCACAF, is said to be one of the easiest channels in the World Cup to qualify for.
At this qualifying level, six teams had to battle it out for the four places in the 2018 World Cup games. This is the first time that Panama has qualified as one of the finalists. The Panama World Cup Football team has been unable to make it into one of these four coveted positions in the past. This will be their first chance to go battle it out with the big leagues in the world’s biggest and most popular sporting event. Thanks to the outcome of the games from Tuesday, Panama will be travelling to Russia for the World Cup along with it is Trinidad and Tobago. The dual- island Caribbean nation has been a part of just one World Cup game so far. Honduras was able to secure the fourth and final CONCACAF position. A Honduras World Cup football team has been sent to three World Cup tournaments in the past.
No home team, less sportsbook action
Sportsbooks in Nevada expect their handles to take a dive as the United States will not be participating in the World Cup this time. Las Vegas is probably going to be affected the most. Sportsbook in the area claim that betting on the World Cup has increased over the years. Oddsmakers collected in excess of USD $5.9 million in “other” sports gambling revenue during the World Cup Football games in July of 2014. However, the interest in the 2018 games will not be the same. As the United States team is not taking part in the event, sportsbooks are not expecting a lot of betting activity in next year’s World Cup games in Nevada.
On top of that, the games will be taking place in Russia; combining both these factors, we can see why Nevada is not expecting to be very active for 2018 season. This is, hopefully, not the end of the soccer betting frenzy that took Nevada by storm three years ago. Both interest in the sport and betting options for the games might be reignited in USA is able to acquire the hosting rights for the 2026 Football World Cup.
The United Bid Committee (UBC), an organisation made up of football governing bodies from the USA, Canada, and Mexico, is trying to win the rights from FIFA to host the first expanded 48- team World Cup games. They want to hold the matches spread out over the three countries. Las Vegas has made the cut to be one of the potential cities for these games. The Las Vegas Raiders stadium, which is being constructed at the cost of USD $1.9 billion dollars, will be used in the 2026 World Cup Football Tournament, if the city is able to secure the bid. While Las Vegas is on the UBC list, it is not guaranteed that they will be selected. To take a step back, FIFA has not even awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup to UBC as of yet. If FIFA awards the 2026 World Cup to the UBC, they need to present a selection of at least 12 cities; 32 cities currently remain in that shortlist.
What the Odds for Other Countries Look Like
Some sportsbooks already poster their lines. They have assigned Germany and France odds of +500. The two European countries are favourites to win the 2018 cup. Just behind them is Brazil with odds of +600, Spain with odds of +700, Argentina with odds of +800 and Belgium that has been given odds of +1400. Among the CONCACAF teams, sportsbooks have assigned Mexico odds of +5000, Costa Rica has been assigned odds of +15000 and Honduras has been given odds of +50000 to win the cup. Panama has been given the largest odds of +100000. If the team managed to defy all expectation and become the champions in next year’s Football World Cup, they could make quite a few people very rich in Nevada.
A Series of Bad Luck
Mexico was able to come out victorious in the hexagonal round with 21 points. Everyone expected the Mexicans teams to take on Honduras and give a tough time, despite the fact that they had already qualified for the 2018 games. This assumption was built on what had transpired four years ago, when the Americans defeated the Panama team in their last match and saved Honduras.
In the second half, Honduras was a goal behind. However in a turn of events, they were able to score two goals and taking the win in the space of six minutes. These fateful six minutes changed the plans for the US men’s team, their supporters and the sportsbooks of Nevada.
While the country gets ready for a lacklustre soccer season next year, they will keep their eyes and ears peeled for FIFA’s announcement of choice of host country for the 2026 games. If Las Vegas makes it through the final cut, the ball will be back in their court and they can look forward to a prosperous betting season whether or not team USA qualifies to play.