Former US international footballer Alexi Lalas has hit out at the national team amid its current struggles to qualify for the World Cup, calling the players “underperforming, tattooed millionaires.”
Lalas, now a commentator for Fox Sports, made his feelings clear on a live, televised tirade during Sunday night’s broadcast of the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy game.
It comes after the USMNT currently hang onto the edge of CONCACAF’s qualification spots, after a string of mediocre results including a 2-0 loss at home to Costa Rica and a tight 1-1 draw to Honduras.
The Fox Sports analysts often takes the opportunity at half time to express his opinion on any given topic in American soccer, but nobody expected this tirade, where he called out several players by name including Bruce Arena. Follow our betting tips here.
“It’s dark days, indeed, but this is a time for leaders to step up,” Lalas said.
“And so to the supposed leaders, I will say this: Tim Howard. Tim, the Belgium game ended three years ago. We need you to save the ball now. Geoff Cameron. Clean it up, or let’s get someone who will.
“Clint Dempsey. Yeah, you’re a national team legend; now we need you to be a national team leader. Michael Bradley. The US does not need you to be zen, the US needs you to play better. Jozy Altidore. Is this really as good as it gets? Because it’s still not good enough.
“And, oh, by the way, to all the guys that I didn’t mention, it’s because you don’t even warrant a mention. That includes you too, Wonder Boy (Christian Pulisic).”
The USMNT need a win and a draw in next months qualifiers against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. If the side cannot improve on its current fourth-place standing, it could move on to an intercontinental playoff against Australia or Syria in November.