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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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46.

ladygolfer1124    

I just looked it up and of the 23 players on the current US Soccer team roster only 5 of them are Americans.

827 days ago
47.

Savvy1    

Not sure if they were their "security"????? These soldiers weren't even in complete uniforms.. Some not in uniform at all!! Forgetting the fact that you aren't sure why they are there.... Shake a frikken hand and say thank you... To ANYONE wearing that uniform, I promise there is no protocol for supporting our troops!! These players are idiots!!!

827 days ago
48.

marigold    

Ah....protocol in saying "thank you for your service" really? give me a break

827 days ago
49.

John    

I am a veteran so I feel I have a frame of reference for making a comment. Just because someone is serving in uniform overseas doesn't mean that every celebrity and athlete should have to bend over backwards to thank them for doing their jobs. Especially in a backwater, non-combat location like Central America. If I had walked off that plane and had no advance notice of who these people were, I'd have thought they were part of a security detail.

827 days ago
50.

jeff    

why is this a big deal? I mean the soldiers aren't even mad. Its funny how riled up people get over nothing. Im 99% sure the soccer team has respect for the soldiers. Some people just like to stir up controversy!! let it go!!!

827 days ago
51.

yaya123    

This is bull**** check the players twitters right when they got off the plane they took pics of the soldiers and said how awesome it was .

827 days ago
52.

harvo    

Not sure the protocol, not to worry they will do their normal, LOOSE. A little too spoiled.

827 days ago
53.

Knuckles    

This is one of those situations where the team captains earns his leadership stripes and makes the move, to hell with "protocol." He blew it. And it's made worse by such a lame excuse. Why do we waste and cheapen the word "hero" on jocks?

827 days ago
54.

Q    

arent most of these US players actually born in Countries outside of the USA? They or they're parents are far too often first generation immigrants from elsewhere---bringing with them, obvious learned soccer skills elsewhere They're hardly "real" Americans so can you really expect them to show or have any respect for those who actually make it possible for them, or their parents to have immigrated here in the first place? And of course, dont forget the ones that came here illegally--all the more reason to look downward anywhere near a uniformed American.

Shame on this rag tag bunch of born elsewhere selfish louts. Even bigger shame on management, and Colorado Springs who probably trained this bunch, somewhere along the way, in not offering a Civic appreciations course.

827 days ago
55.

Minnetonka40    

No excuses for this one. Those soccer players cannot even blame this on their management.

827 days ago
56.

Minnetonka40    

z

827 days ago
57.

Minnetonka40    

z

827 days ago
58.

Dan Frederiksen    

that's what happens when satan is indulged in a country. the stupid soldiers who go to kill millions in wars based on lies think they deserve praise at every turn.
the military has no ****ing business being involved with sports

827 days ago
59.

US Soccer Fan    

I'd like to know, how many of the US soldiers stationed in Guatemala are even US soccer fans, and even know the players on the team? Secondly, the players took to twitter and thanked the troops, they are on a TIGHT SCHEDULE!

827 days ago
60.

laffnbear    

American military protecting the Great US Empire in Central America.

827 days ago
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