Meanwhile, I called it: http://diamed-the-road-less-traveled.blogspot.com/2017/01/world-cup-expands-to-48-teams.html
Written January 1, 2017:
"World Cup Expands to 48 Teams:
Maybe the USA will be able to qualify in 2026? Now that all the continents are being given larger quotas to fill in the 16 new slots, one would hope that the farce that is 2018 US men's qualifying will never be repeated again. The USA is competing against tiny, low population banana republics in central America and the Caribbean, and we still can't hack it. But once we lower the bar! Once we lower the bar we'll definitely get to play with the big boys!"
That's right, I predicted over ten months ago that we would lose to tiny banana republics and fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. You heard it here first, and I was right all along.
Instead, Panama has gotten into the World Cup for its first time ever. You'd think that would be impressive enough, but Panama was upstaged by Iceland, the smallest population nation to ever qualify for the World Cup, in the most competitive and difficult places to qualify of them all -- Europe.
Almighty Iceland, population 330,000, can make it to the World Cup. Unfortunately the USA, population 330 million, GDP $20 trillion, can't. When up against the likes of Trinidad & Tobago I guess it can't be helped.