Jozy Altidore has taken to social media to send an apology to U.S. national team fans after the side failed to reach the 2018 World Cup.
The Toronto FC striker, who started as the side fell 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago, believes that the best days for the sport in the States are still ahead, and asked for continued support despite failure in this qualifying cycle.
The message from Altidore reads:
"To the USMNT fans and those supporting the sport in our country,
"I am so sorry we you down this time around. You have all supported this team/program like no other and it pains us all that we didn't qualify. The worst part of this is not being able to see you all in Russia, enjoying the tournament and celebrating the continued growth of soccer in this country. However, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and this team/program will come back better and more determined than ever. To do that, we have to be honest, truthful and work harder than ever to improve in every aspect.
"I wanted to thank you all so much for your support through this entire qualifying campaign and what is now an incredibly difficult period. We need you now more than ever to help continue to grow the game at the grassroots level across the country.
"Please keep supporting and playing the beautiful game. The best days for soccer in this country are still to come. We have to keep working hard, believing in ourselves and never give up."
The failure to qualify will be a blow to Altidore.
The 27-year-old was injured early in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup and missed out on the rest of the tournament and will now not get the chance to play in 2018, meaning he will have missed most of the two World Cups during the prime of his career.