The United States has failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

It is a catastrophic failure by U.S. Soccer.

The polarizing topic of promotion and relegation will rightly be brought up by many. So I figure I may as well seize the opportunity and share an interview I conducted several months back with its biggest advocate.

When planning The Soccer Tour, one of the people I was most interested in meeting was Ted Westervelt.

Ted is social media’s most controversial and tireless champion of promotion and relegation. His incessant advocacy of #ProRelForUSA and the militant tactics he employs come as an annoyance to those in opposition of the movement, and even some who claim to be in favor of it.

He believes US Soccer and MLS “conspire to rob $billions in equity from lower division US clubs” – which leaves him little in the way of tolerance for those who don’t share his views. Because of that, he’s labeled a troll, an ass, and — my personal favorite — Tinfoil Ted.

Many dismiss Ted. He’s become a meme of sorts in the MLS community and very few want to hear his thoughts.

Case in point:

But not me.

While I don’t agree with Ted on everything, I think he has valid criticisms of U.S. Soccer and the current structure of the pyramid.

Above all, I just wanted to hear him out.