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Five Aside

Facts and figures on U.S.'s historic failure to qualify for 2018 World Cup

The United States will not be playing at the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

The Americans' 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night ended a run of qualifying for seven straight World Cups -- the longest streak in CONCACAF.

The only way the U.S. could have been eliminated Tuesday night was with a loss and wins by both Panama and Honduras, who were facing opponents that had already clinched World Cup berths.

ESPN's Soccer Power Index projected only a 3 percent chance that all three events would happen tonight and thus eliminate the U.S. from the World Cup.

Here are some other statistics surrounding the outcome:

-- The U.S. lost five games in this qualifying cycle, its most losses in a single campaign in team history, and four in the final Hexagonal round, also a team high.

-- Before this cycle, the U.S. had two home losses in its previous 53 home qualifiers since 1980. This time they lost to both Mexico and Costa Rica.

-- The 12 points earned from the 10 games in the Hex are five fewer than in any other cycle since the current format began in 1998.

-- From Hex games 6-8, the U.S. went winless in three straight World Cup qualifiers for the first time since 2001.

-- The 2018 cycle is the first time since 2002 that the U.S. has not finished first in the Hex. The U.S. was second in 1998 and third in 2002 and is now fifth in 2018.

-- The U.S.' streak of seven straight World Cups before this cycle was the seventh-longest in the world after only Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Spain and South Korea.

The last time the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1986:

-- Goalkeeper Tim Howard was the only one of Tuesday's U.S. starters who had been born.

-- Only two teams from CONCACAF qualified (Mexico as hosts and Canada). The World Cup also featured the Soviet Union and West Germany.

-- The only professional outdoor soccer league in the U.S. was the Western Soccer Alliance. Major League Soccer was 10 years from starting.


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