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U.S. Soccer Team

SORRY We Dissed

Our Troops

6/13/2012 10:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0612_us_soccer_team_twitter_guatemala_cityThe U.S. soccer team insists ... they didn't mean to snub American troops at a Guatemalan airport Monday -- blowing past the soldiers' big welcoming party for the team -- so the players are apologizing.

Team America flew in for a World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala -- and troops stationed in the Central American country came to greet them on the tarmac and cheer them on to victory.

But when the team got off the plane ... they made a beeline for the bus, not saying a word to the soldiers ... not even a "thank you." The troops were understandably insulted.

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."

Now, a rep for the team tells 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."

We're told their apology went over pretty well -- no hard feelings. (FYI -- Guatemala tied the game last night with a late goal in the 83rd minute. Boo.)

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
194 COMMENTS

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1.

ShrinkWrap    

Unsure of the protocol? Really? That is the best they can do to cover for their poor manners? Wow.

778 days ago
2.

Jack    

Some of the soldiers are holding cameras. They thought they were providing security, come on.

778 days ago
3.

Ryan    

Troops need to sack up and get over it

778 days ago
4.

Ace    

You would think a soccer player would want any attention they could get.

778 days ago
5.

Sunset    

It was game day. Perhaps they were too focused on the task at hand, military men know all about that. It's never fun being snubbed though.

778 days ago
6.

Adam    

all this talk about them protecting our freedom is a little over the top. it's not like they're protecting us from the British attacking or something.. anyone scared of al Queda attacking? didn't think so. just sayin, maybe that's the disconnect between our military and citizens now. wars are about money, now, and it's becoming obvious.

778 days ago
7.

mikeman    

uh, so the troops showed up to welcome the team and then got offended when the team didn't thank them? since when do our troops show up at places for the explicit purpose of being thanked...?

778 days ago
8.

hehe    

how are they supposed to react when the soldiers were just standing there not doing much except take pictures? if they clapped and were more vocal i bet the soccer team would have reciprocated accordingly

778 days ago
9.

No comment    

Oh look our tax dollars at work for the military and for the U.S. futbol team. I bet the guys running around on the field kicking a ball live in nice hotels and make more money than the people wearing the fatigues.

So tried of the protocol excuse. You have a PR team, clearly not doing their job. How about just being gracious?

778 days ago
10.

Jreal    

I dunno, I could see it both ways. I could see it as soldier soccer fans that wanted to come see the players, or they were there doing their job i.e. security. Do I have to say thank you to every soldier i see? Do i have to say thank you to every cop I see. Do i have to say thank you to every doctor, pilot, construction worker? I just think that all this thanking is fake. If it is not from the heart, don't do it. Because I know that in some instances that I said it it was fake, because I felt like I had to do it, not because I wanted to.

778 days ago
11.

Mikeg    

Guatemala should already be closed...

778 days ago
12.

maria    

What a bunch of dumb buts. No manners and a disgrace to their own country. What are the 5 yrs old. A simple Thank You would have been nice. The team is lucky the soldiers were so forgiving.

778 days ago
13.

the_drizzle    

these guys are just big fish in a small MLS pond. they are a joke internationally. fans at euro 2012 wouldnt even care about non-scoring losers like jozey altidore.

778 days ago
14.

NICK    

Anybody see Mel Brooks upon receiving the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009? http://youtu.be/6ZXjfRXvrTU @ 7:10

778 days ago
15.

Superman    

Whoop-de-do! So, these self-absorbed troops really didn't come to greet and cheer on the soccer team. They came to get their own recognition and wanted their butts kissed by the soccer team. Yeah, these people need to get a reality check. As much as they want the world to revolve around them, well, it doesn't! They are not God. They are not protecting my freedom, no matter what BS the media fills their heads with.

778 days ago
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