Kellyn Acosta USMNT Eliminated

FRISCO - Not going to lie, I stared at this blank page for several minutes before I could muster up what to even write. 

Yes, the U.S. Men's National Team has failed to make the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. Yes, it's devastating for U.S. Soccer and the sport in this country. Yes, you've already read these facts and vented your frustration elsewhere in the aftermath. 

Kellyn Acosta Sees Minutes as US Men's National Team is Eliminated from 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification -

What did happen, though, was as the game, the Hex and the World Cup itself was on the line, Bruce Arena turned to the future to bring into the match in the most crucial minutes of American soccer in decades. He brought on Plano's own budding National Team star Kellyn Acosta

The Homegrown played just 28 minutes plus stoppage time Tuesday night, but it was a symbolic passing of the guard. Come 2022, the next time the U.S. can see World Cup action (gulp), Acosta will be on the verge of his 27th birthday. This is his - along with others in his talented generation's - team.

It's a tough pill to swallow right now, and watching the action in Russia next summer will be even harder, but some food for thought heading into the next era of U.S. Soccer: