‘If you can’t hack it, I don’t want you on the plane’: Alexi Lalas slams the USMNT’s ‘uninspired and unflattering’ goalless stalemate against Saudi Arabia as the World Cup looms
Former defender Alexi Lalas has issued a stern challenge to USMNT players following another dissatisfying performance, drawing 0-0 with Saudi Arabia in Spain.
The US national team are now winless in their last three, and on the back of a Japanese belting, failed to overcome a lowly-ranked Saudi Arabia side.
Lalas urged the boys in Red, White and Blue to step it up as he claimed if certain players cannot hack the pressure in international friendlies, they do not deserve a spot in Qatar.
Former US defender Alexi Lalas slammed the USMNT’s ‘uninspired’ draw against Saudi Arabia
‘Nervy times – you’ve got the World Cup coming,’ Lalas said during Fox Sports’ post-match coverage.
‘A billion people will be watching you. If you can’t hack it in a sterile environment like this against two okay teams that are going to the World Cup, I don’t want you on the plane, I don’t want you in Qatar. Figure it out.
‘This was an uninspired, unflattering and maybe even unnecessary type of window in terms of these games and the circumstances around them.’
While belief across the country may be wavering in the USMNT, there are 55 days for Gregg Berhalter’s men to work on changing the mood on matchday one against Wales.
Christian Pulisic failed to inspire his national team in Spain against the draw vs. the Saudis
Gregg Berhalter has plenty in front of him to reinvigorate this USMNT squad before Qatar 2022
‘We wanted to believe in this team going in — now that’s the bad news,’ Lalas continued. ‘Good news is you can shut the door, you just damn well better hope that when you flick the switch for the World Cup, that that energy is there.’
Lalas’s co-pundit Stu Holden concurred and urged the squad to display a stoutheartedness previously seen, but now currently lacking.
‘I think that’s it for the US. Gregg talked about…confidence and personality, that’s what we’ve been fed for the last two years about this team.
Alexi Lalas urged USMNT players to not board the plane if they cannot handle the pressures
Stu Holden urged his contemporaries to bring a youthful swagger to their opener vs. Wales
‘This young, fearless, hungry [team]. I want to see that game one of the World Cup, when you look in the players’ eyes and they look down the line, you want believe.
‘You want them to believe in themselves that [they’re] not just happy to be there. That this US team can compete at a World Cup.’
The USMNT roster is released November 9, with World Cup training camp coming shortly after that in preparation for game one against the Welsh on November 21.