'Night and day' - USMNT in way better shape now than in the 1990s, insists Alexi Lalas as U.S. Soccer's progress questioned

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Alexi Lalas starred for the United States men's national team in the 1990s but said the program has improved exponentially since then.
  • Fan questioned USMNT growth
  • Lalas adamant squad much better than in his era
  • Doesn't think WC performances mean everything

WHAT HAPPENED? A fan on social media drew Lalas' ire by asking if the USMNT is actually better now than in 1994 or 2002, when it reached the World Cup last 16 and quarter-finals, respectively.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "If you can’t see that American soccer is better since 1994 or 2002 then I don’t think you’re looking," Lalas wrote on Twitter. "Still plenty of problems, but it’s objectively and demonstrably night and day."

Lalas went on to sarcastically dismiss measuring the USMNT's progress by whether the Stars and Stripes reach a World Cup final.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While the environment around the USMNT has been chaotic since the team reached the knockouts at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, there are signs that things will soon calm down. Matt Crocker has been installed as U.S. Soccer's new sporting director, while a permanent head coach could be appointed over the summer.

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With the U.S. set to co-host the 2026 World Cup, there is optimism that this will be a successful decade for the country.

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WHAT NEXT? The senior USMNT squad will play against Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League semi-final on June 15, while the U20s will participate in the upcoming U20 World Cup.