As a nation clenches its ass in pain

Wow - and they got medals for that, too.

Why didn't you just burn the flag while you were at it? Why not just take a 12 x 20 flag, a big can of kerosene, and just torch the son of a bitch on the fifty yard line? Wouldn't that have been simpler?

I mean, if that was the plan, why not just go over to Sam's Army and the American Outlaws, and just spit in their faces over and over for forty-five minutes? Why not just hock loogies for three-quarters of an hour while Mexico fans watched and laughed? There were, what, twenty of you, and let's say two hundred fans. Spitting in ten faces each, that takes, what, ten minutes tops. Could have been out of there by five.

Or not shown up at all. Just send the Red Bulls out there. They didn't have anything better to do this weekend. I think the Red Bulls could have managed to give up five goals in the second half.

Guys, all we asked you do was make your case for a World Cup spot. Did anyone say anything about setting the sport back twenty years? No. No, they did not. Did anyone say anything about reviving the entire Mexican program in forty-five short minutes? Again, they did not.

At least you had the foresight to wear dark shorts. If you're just going to go out there and crap yourselves, might as well dress accordingly.

The bright side - the ONLY bright side - is that the United States won't have to wait too long to regain a measure of self-respect. At least there's a game scheduled in August, instead of a year or two from now. I assume we're not planning to lose that one 6-0, or worse. Are we?

Oh, and another bright side - none of the players involved today from the US side will be around to ******** that game up.

Now do you see why I wanted to judge the tournament by this one game? This is how the players responded. Now we know, and now we can move on. We really need to go one by one through the Gold Cup roster now, and see who helped their cause and who didn't? What's the point?

You know what really showed what an abject failure this was?

Okay, besides the five goals.

And Ching and Holden telling the world that they were gassed because they had played a lot of games. Unlike Mexico, who hadn't played precisely the same amount of games on precisely the same schedule. Well, great news, guys. As far as the national team is concerned, you got a rest coming ranging from two years to forever.

No, it was when Christopher Sullivan complained that the US missed an opportunity to see players like Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber, Jozy Altidore and other Confederations Cup veterans. In other words, we should have defeated the whole point in fielding a team for the Gold Cup.

Sure, in retrospect, screwing up job prospects for about five to ten American players in Europe would be a small price to pay to avoid the worst New Jersey disaster since the Hindenburg. But I think we were all operating under the assumption that given the chance to prove themselves deserving of a national team spot, twenty separate professional athletes wouldn't step on a rake at the same time. If I wanted to see that much folding, I'd have watched the World Series of Poker.

This was almost bad enough to justify calls for Bob Bradley's removal again - not that justifiability was any excuse before now. It's still not going to happen, because the only thing he was guilty of was in thinking there might have been good reasons not to call in these guys before now. I think we were prepared for failure, but not disgrace.

"But they were playing some of Mexico's starters, we only had our B or C team." Great. So, let's never see those players again. Who do you think these players would see in qualifying? Who do you think they would see in the freaking World Cup? What the hell did they think this audition was for, anyway?

I'd actually be interested in seeing people defend these guys. Well, fine, you cheer for them when they play for their clubs, so you're sentimentally attached. Jason Kreis, Taylor Twellman, Kevin Hartman, Steve Ralston - plenty of guys over the past ten or twenty years were very good players, but missed out of the World Cup roster for various reasons. And they never had a 0-5 tattooed onto their cheeks, neither. Tell me why you put Brian Ching on the roster, instead of getting Roy Wegerle out of retirement. Hell, look what happens when you start Ching. What's the downside of bringing back Eric Wynalda at this point? What, we might lose? At least Waldo has a scoring record to try to regain.

A quick word about comments to this post. Usually, I would edit and delete them mercilessly. Not this time. I hope I get FLOODED with pro-Mexico, anti-US posts. I hope it goes pages and pages. And when you read them, don't blame them. Don't blame me. Blame these guys:

Brian Ching, Houston Dynamo (c)
Troy Perkins, Valerenga IF
Jay Heaps, New England Revolution
Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew
Clarence Goodson, IK Start
Heath Pearce, Hansa Rostock
Stuart Holden, Houston Dynamo
Logan Pause, Chicago Fire
Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
Robbie Rogers, Columbus Crew
Davy Arnaud, Kansas City Wizards
Santino Quaranta, DC United
Kenny Cooper, FC Dallas
Sam Cronin, Toronto FC

Your resignation from the United States Men's National Team player pool is hereby enthusiastically accepted.