Michael Bradley, who played for Aston Villa for a short time in 2011, captained the United States in defeat

The United States’ failure to make Russia 2018 marks a “sad and dark moment” for football in the country says former defender Alexi Lalas.

Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat by Trinidad and Tobago means the US will miss the finals for the first time since 1986.

“It is not a good look or feeling. It will have repercussions,” Lalas, 47, told BBC World Service.

“They let themselves down, they let us down and they will have to think about that for a very long time.”

The United States needed only a point in their final World Cup qualifying match to book their place at an eighth successive World Cup.

But opponents Trinidad and Tobago – who had won only one of their previous nine games – beat them, with Panama and Honduras also winning to end the hopes of Bruce Arena’s side.

Head coach Arena took responsibility for the defeat but said that “there’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing”.

“To make any kind of crazy changes I think would be foolish. We’re building a good system in our professional league. We have players playing abroad of some quality,” he added.

Yahoo columnist Leander Schaerlaecken received comprehensive suggestions from his readership about ways to improve the national team

However Donna E. Shalala