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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

No Avatar
76.

WesleyTheGreat    

Everyone knows soccer players are dwarf homos

677 days ago
77.

Steinberg    

There was a woman standing there. Yeah, she's totally providing security!

677 days ago
78.

Bloomcounty.USA    

Aren't most of the members of the US Soccer team from other countries? I mean there's some players on the team that are actually American but the vast majority of them are Dutch, British, Italian, German, Mexican, a couple from Denmark and at least one from Portugal.

I think that probably had more to do with it than anything else ... they're hired guns, they aren't wrapped in the flag (at least not our flag). They play with whatever team will have them, like mercenaries of soccer.

677 days ago
79.

Ana Isabel Diaz Valladares    

Heren,
Guatemalan government provides police escort to all teams arriving to the country regardless of origin, as many other countries do. The video that you posted is a 2010 video in which police force stationed at the entrance of the stadium ensured protection to both teams arriving to Mateo Flores stadium and contained fans much like a Justin Biever concert.... In Guatemala you see all the time US citizens working at the Embassy or for Int'l organisations or private companies going out, partying and getting drunk without any security detail... there would be no reason at all to have the military escort a soccer team... you are in Guatemala not in Afghanistan. I do not see why I should apologize.... and to whom? I made an educated comment of a situation that was made public by US soldiers. I am not only very well educated but I had the opportunity to travel and get an international exposure since a very young age. Unfortunately this kind of behavior is most often seen on US citizens than any other. Guatemala might not have the financial or political power of the United States, and yes, we have had (and still do) our share of bad times and insecurity... but it is a country that had always warmly welcomed visitors and that had never stopped fighting for what Guatemalans think the country should be. The country is growing.... slowly but steady and we are going to get there.... I am sure of it. Guatemalan people (armed forces and the rest of the population, breath and sweat football and they support their national team with their heart and soul... the goal that Marco Pappa made yesterday brought more happiness and hope to the country that the latest increase in minimum wage approved by congress. I do not need to excuse my self... I am not the arrogant, disrespectful or uneducated in this conversation.

677 days ago
80.

kitnplayn    

In the USA, one hand rarely knows what the other hand is doing.

677 days ago
81.

myopinion    

Well to defend the soccer players they should have been told why the soldiers were there...I can understand the confusing. THANKS SOLDIERS for protecting OUR country.

677 days ago
82.

mike    

LOL american soccer team is a joke, they really expect to compete against brazil, argentine, germany or england, they must be kidding.

677 days ago
83.

Ana Isabel Diaz Valladares    

Heren, I am assuming from your comments that you have traveled to the region and you are well do***ented on Central American policies and actuality.... I would hate to think that you are one of those ignorant persons that watch fox news and discovery channel and think "they know" what they are talking about... By the way... not only I wont apologize but I will emphasize on their rudeness, lack of education and social manners.

677 days ago
84.

Im Hungry    

So What who cares......it really isn't THAT serious....

677 days ago
85.

Moonwalk    

First of all it´s called FOOTBALL and why do you Americans even play it? You suck at it

677 days ago
86.

Im Hungry    

how about we grow up......its really not that serious.....

677 days ago
87.

Bill    

These GI's were fans and you can see many of them with cameras. But the team players looked so stiff looking, that they didn't want to be there. It's hard to believe that our men were treated this way, but then again that seems to be the usual treatment today doesn't it. It's a shame but this is the way the glorious Left Wingers treat not just our men in uniform but all of our citizens. Myself being a product of Co. "D" 1st ARBn, 46th Inf. 1st AD. In 1957, and I can attest that our men and women who serve today are the finest that I have ever encountered. I would much rather be in their company than some of these hot head ball players. God Bless America, while it still stands.

676 days ago
88.

mike    

welcoming them or providing security? thats the stupidest thing i have read this week.

676 days ago
89.

Ray    

It's obvious these people were lined up to welcome them. Military or not, common courtesy would have been to say thanks.

676 days ago
90.

richard mcenroe    

I will make no donation to any sports organization that supports American soccer in the future.

676 days ago
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