Okay, let's see. American soccer coaches have made some grand decisions at the World Cup before, both men and women. But they've also had some boneheaded moves before. So I wanted to see what the readers felt was the worst of the worst.
2007 WWC: Greg Ryan loses faith in his starting goalkeeper, Hope Solo. Having not allowed a goal in 300 minutes during the tournament, Ryan nevertheless pulled the plug on Solo in favor of an aging Briana Scurry. Brazil puts three past Scurry and, just for good measure, and American also gets one over the goal line. Brazil knocks the U.S. out with a commanding 4-0 semifinal win.
2006 World Cup: The USMNT had used the 4-5-1 in really just one important game under Bruce Arena before, and that ended up in a 2-1 loss. Throwing all the work and effort, all the progress and the development the team had had with the two-striker system out the windown, the U.S. took the field against the Czech Republic with a lone striker. It failed miserably as the Czechs looked like the pre-tournament powers many had feared. Ghana and Italy showed just how strong the Czechs were and the U.S. did not recover from its slow start.
1998 World Cup: Veteran players such as Alexi Lalas and Marcelo Balboa had formed the nucleus of the team during World Cup qualifying, when the U.S. pulled out some fantastic results. Lalas did not play one minute in the tournament while Balboa played eight as both were casualties of Sampson's doomed 3-6-1 formation. The U.S. team that went through qualifying and reached the Gold Cup final in 1998 was not allowed to take place as Sampson chose instead to plug in newcomers such as Chad Deering and Brian Maisonneuve into the mix. The U.S. lost all three games.