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> The 2018 World Cup is finally here. Thousands of fans are pouring into Russia, but they're not here to support the US team. That's because the US men's national team failed to qualify.>> Every World Cup, whether it's men's or women's is an opportunity to create millions of new US national team fans here in the United States.
And so that's why it's a big missed opportunity for the US men not to be in Russia.>> Soccer journalist Grant Wahl author of the newly released book Masters of Modern Soccer is one of man trying to figure out what went wrong. Over the last 30 years, US soccer has taken off in terms of popularity and results internationally.
But a 2-0 loss at Trinidad and Tobago last year brought US hopes to reach the World Cup crashing down. And Wahl says the lack of attention to youth development is partly to blame.>> So I think it's that age from 15 to 18 where US youth players have really struggled to take that next step.
There's always been a lot of talented US players at age 15. There are fewer on the world level at age of 18 and 19.>> Wahl points to young players like US teenage superstar Christian Pulisic as an example of a youth player whose talent grew at a critical age.
Pulisic signed with top tier German club Borussia Dortmund at age 15, and now at 19 is a regular starter. But Wahl says Pulisic is the exception, not the rule, and he says that has to change.>> A player like Tyler Adams or Tim Waya or any number of other guys I think should get a bunch of opportunities to establish themselves and learn how to play together well at a national team level.
>> And they have 4 more years to do just that, Wahl hopes that by 2022 when world cup moves to Qatar, the US team will be ready