Greatest USOC meltdown ever?

Bill is on this, because he gets up before me, but I do think we have a new winner in the Greatest Open Cup meltdown ever, maybe a new champion in the Greatest American Soccer Meltdown ever.

The previous USOC champion was Peter Nowak, ruthlessly using his face to block the bottom of Luis Hernandez' boot in 2000. This was actually how I told the story for years, so embarrassed was I that I was cheering for Hernandez. He was only yellow-carded for that at the time, but the USSF reviewed the tape...or, perhaps, asked Nowak about the situation once the concussion wore off and the laceration healed...and banned Hernandez for the entire 2001 Open Cup tournament.

The previous all-time champ was Hristo Stoitchkov breaking the leg of the kid from American University for no terribly good reason at all. The only surprising thing about that situation is that it took so long for Stoitchkov to melt down. Down the road some enterprising Spanish-language station needs to schedule The Hristo-Blanco Report, with the two of them offering about fifteen seconds of commentary before losing their minds and swinging at each other.

Actual meltdowns in MLS aren't of this caliber, really. There was Mamadou Diallo puncturing Mike Ammann's lung, but despite Mike Petke's vow to avenge the Crime of the Century, I didn't think at the time that Diallo was any more violent than he usually was. (Petke and Diallo ended up teammates briefly, and justice was never served, so take that as you will.) Ricardo Clark kicking Carlos Ruiz is generally accepted as completely justified, except maybe in the Guatemala City Hooters.

Recent playoffs have had amusing moments - Dario Sala cheap-shotted Hunter Freeman after Colorado eliminated Dallas, doubly unjust since it was Jovan Kirovski who had been doing the real taunting. Even that couldn't top Andy Herron going nuts in New England, earning a six-game suspension, only to switch teams in the off-season, return after suspension...and immediately draw another suspension for elbowing Jay Heaps.

But it looks like we have a new champion. Congratulations, Cootiemac Blanco! I'll tune in for the award presentation at the All-Star Game.