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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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61.

EastCoastChopper    

Well thanks for saving America - down there in Guatemala...whatever it is you're doing there..."Freeeedumb" someone screams! Maybe in Spanish.. Liberta!

Forgive me if I reserve my hugs for the troops who are doing the heavy lifting in Iraq and Afghanistan...I mean really! Are we supposed to hug the recruiter in the mall who has never left the US of A?

757 days ago
62.

JD    

Troops don't whine about not getting acknowledgment. They do what they do for the love of country. If the families want to whine, that is their business. Don't claim that troops were insulted. They put their lives on the line, they don't worry about this little stuff...

757 days ago
63.

spinner25    

This is utter BS. We were free before 9/11. These soldiers have been lied to, and they're unknowingly fighting for oil. Plain and simple.

757 days ago
64.

Daryan    

TMZ should really check its sources. The team is very good with the troops and several players are sons of military parents. The team has to have full military and Police escort whenever they are in Central America, at the hotel and games. Maybe some servicemen were passed but I dont believe all of them were.

http://twitter.com/#!/NickRimando/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Finstagr.am%2Fp%2FLtXFXiKYxY%2F

757 days ago
65.

Daryan    

Please look up facts. Some troops may have been passed. But the team is very good with the troops. Four players are sons of servicemen. In Central America, the team has a full military and police escort to the game and at the hotel.

http://twitter.com/#!/NickRimando/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Finstagr.am%2Fp%2FLtXFXiKYxY%2F

757 days ago
66.

Duke Steele    

Real men,and women, don't play soccer. They join the military and put their asses on the line. So, they should be thanked even by the girly men soccer players.

757 days ago
67.

Buster    

Just so the Taliban knows, the best way to fight our troops is to hurt their feelings.
Give me a break.

757 days ago
68.

Iggy    

I find it appauling that the US National Team disrespected the Armed Forces their to greet them but using "security" as an excuse is disrepectful to the Guatemalan People (the host nation of the game)

Guatemala is just like any major US City when it comes to crime, and I seriously doubt that when they play in say, Miami a few cups ago, they were escorted by the armed forces.

SO IN SHORT - SHAME ON THEM. THEY SHOULD FESS UP TO THEIR MISTAKE LIKE MEN.

757 days ago
69.

Dave    

I stopped cheering for them earlier this year when they jacked up half a dozen yellow cards in the first half alone during a "friendly" game against Honduras. It was a friendly for crying out loud. You don't play dirty during a friendly.

And they love to pretend to be hurt. Someone breathes on them and they jump on the ground and whine and moan. I'll give you a kick in the knee so you don't have to fake. Meanwhile get off the ground and back in the game, you wimp.

Needless to say I was pleased when the US team failed to qualify for the Olympics. Honduras did qualify.

757 days ago
70.

Six7Six7    

"Hey guys, I'm bored of all this collecting of free healthcare and free college tuition. Let's go stand around and make other American citizens thank us"

What a bunch of ****ing *******s. **** the military.

757 days ago
71.

Skippy La Rue    

So let me get this straight...these guys kill for a living but are crying cuz some soccer players didnt say hi???

757 days ago
72.

Ben    

Awkward. And tha't coming from someone who hates that term. "Let's show up in military uniform and expect everyone to fawn over us."

757 days ago
73.

scrilla    

The team is led by Landon Donovan who is well known for being a classless douche bag. Can't say I'm surprised by this...

757 days ago
74.

Ana Isabel Diaz Valladares    

I am a Guatemalan citizen LIVING in Guatemala and, once again I am amazed by the behavior of Americans outside their country. Not only they were disrespectful and arrogant towards their own armed forces, that were there to encourage the team and show their support... but pretending that they didn't know if the soldiers were there to provide security or express support is not only lame but it is also extremely disrespectful for the host country and the Guatemalan people. Security? For what? They should need some security returning to the States after the poor game they presented last night.... fans and Americans in general should be ashamed of the US soccer team... not only for their performance in the field but specially for the lack of gratitude and education. Unfortunately it is people like these that get to represent the United States abroad....

757 days ago
75.

Swan    

I worked the 2010 Olympics and it was embarrassing that the only rude athletes were the US teams. You put them on such a high pedestal that they feel entitled and everyone is below them.

757 days ago
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