The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) wasn't exactly the country’s sports darling heading into this week, and it most definitely didn’t endear itself to anyone with this latest dumb move.
As team members stepped off their plane in Guatemala this past Monday, they were greeted by droves of soldiers who cheered them on as they walked towards the bus. Instead of stopping to chat with the troops and/or to thank them for their support, the players walked past them like they weren’t even there.
Understandably, the folks who put their lives on the line so that USMNT players can continue to safely embarrass themselves at every international tournament weren’t too happy with that reception.
The soldiers' friends and family took to Facebook to express their disgust -- writing messages like, "What a disgrace that a team that wears our American colors can't take 5 minutes to acknowledge the soldiers that fight for what those colors represent."
That seems like a fair complaint.
On Wednesday, most likely after they heard how offended everyone -- not just the troops and their families, everyone -- was at what transpired, the team offered this statement to TMZ:
"The players and staff were simply unsure of the correct protocol in terms of engaging the military members on arrival to Guatemala ... [the players] weren't sure if they were welcoming them or providing security."
Well, that makes a fair amount of no sense. Let’s suppose for a second that the troops were there strictly for security, how would that in any way justify the USMNT ignoring them entirely?
The real question coming out of this unfortunate mess shouldn’t be why the USMNT snubbed the troops, it should be why the troops didn’t snub the USMNT. For anyone that hasn’t been following this squad's journey towards mediocrity – they have been, are, and will be awful for years.
This latest act just confirms that they’re as horrible off the pitch as they are on it.