Rocco B. Commisso claims that the governing body should be held responsible for the failures of the national team to make the World Cup
With himself and his club at the center of a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) over anti-trust laws, New York Cosmos principal owner Rocco B. Commisso, who also servers as the chairman of the NASL’s Board of Governors, has called for the federation to undergo sweeping changes after the U.S. national team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The USA fell to a 2-1 loss on the road against Trinidad & Tobago which, coupled with wins for both Panama and Honduras, saw Bruce Arena’s side fall short of reaching the sport’s seminal event next summer.
While Arena has shouldered his share of the blame for the team’s failure, Commisso believes that the issues that lead to the USA’s elimination from World Cup contention falls at the feet of those even higher up the chain, starting with USSF president Sunil Gulati.
“The real causes of last night’s debacle, however, weren’t actually present on the field or on the sidelines in Trinidad,” Commisso said as part of a sweeping statement issued by the Cosmos. “Instead, the result was a byproduct of larger, systemic problems within the sport in our country.
“The blame must be placed squarely at the feet of U.S. Soccer’s management, led by Sunil Gulati. The first step in ensuring that American soccer consistently performs at a level that spares all of us the kind of negative emotions generated by our National Team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup is for Mr. Gulati to resign. It is his only honorable path forward. The USSF Board members and senior management personnel appointed or nominated by Mr. Gulati should follow him out the door.
“While I’m disheartened by the result of the game, I’m not surprised. Going back to the first New York Cosmos Media Day after I assumed control of the club earlier this year, I have…