The biggest shockers:
The United States, Holland and Chile will not make the trip to Russia.
The United States, crippled by a coaching flux, a lineup that never seemed to gel, aging players, and tough luck against Trinidad and Tobago (the land of Dwight York and Shaka Hislop), just couldn’t get past the Hex. Though, no matter which way you look at it, they are a much better team that Panama, who will be going to World Cup Russia. Whatever is in store for the upcoming months in US Soccer, rest assured, they’ll be back with a vengeance for 2022.
Holland – “the best team never to win a World Cup” – just couldn’t pull it together for a chance to compete in Russia. They had the talent but you just never know with them.
Chile – arguably the best team in South America as the defending Copa America champions from 2015 and 2016 – had a hectic time in South American qualifications as they went from “in it to win it” to “lost in the shuffle.” Argentina moved on, however, they were in dire straits as well for most of the qualification run. And, low and behold, everyone’s forgotten team Peru pulled out with a good finish, giving Chile fits.