The Morning Chicago Died

I hear you, Aaron, but missing out on the Olympics is pretty bad for American soccer, especially women's soccer.

The Olympics have historically been very kind to the USWNT. Remember, the Golden Generation got their big boost from the Richard Jewell Olympics in 1996, the worst in human memory. Women's soccer made its Olympic debut there - it was an experiment that took off.

That same generation had a wonderful farewell in the 2004 Belated Centennial Olympics - man, did the team look good in those laurel wreaths, or what?

And the 2008 Human Rights? ******** Human Rights Olympics helped get the unholy stink of the 2007 Abby v. Hope Solo World Cup out of the air.

Imagine how the Nike-Olympic publicity machine would have handled a well-run Olympic Games, at home.

And it's a brutal shot to WPS, which would have had a carrot waiting for them seven years down the road. Seven years is something like twice as long as any women's pro league has lasted, except for the WNBA, and the halo effect from the Olympics being held in a WPS city would have been literally priceless.

As for the men...or the boys...well, even a little thing like not having to qualify for the Olympics would have been helpful, even if Sepp Blatter does end up turning the men's Olympic soccer bracket into a U-14 foosball tournament.

There's no disgrace to losing to fine cities like Rio and Madrid. Besides, the IOC can stick its head in a bucket of shaving cream as far as I'm concerned. And sure, if we're choosing between the Olympics and the World Cup as far as promoting the sport here, World Cup every time.

But Brazil and (probably) England are going to host the World Cup and the Olympics in short succession - absolutely no reason why the United States can't as well. It's a missed opportunity, one that isn't going to come again anytime soon, and it has to be treated as a major, major disappointment.

But I can't get upset. I can't be upset about anything today. Because JIMMY CONRAD IS BACK ON THE US NATIONAL TEAM!

Man, I thought it was all over! I'm genuinely happy about this! I know, I've been sick all week and the blog has sucked and I have to be a Galaxy fan - but I don't care! This is the best Soctober ever!

Yeah, so, DeMerit and Marshall are hurt. This is where Conrad wins his spot back! DeMerit and Marshall can take the spots of a couple of other guys. Landon, maybe. Tim Howard. I don't care.

Now all we need is Frankie Hejduk. And we NEED Frankie Hejduk. I would rather go three and out with Hejduk and Conrad than win the World Cup. I'm sure you all would, as well.

In fact, I'm even going to allow myself to hope that Jeff Cunningham makes the roster next year. Best World Cup roster ever. I'd go to South Africa for that. I'd go to South Antarctica for that.

If Jimmy does make it to the South Africa tournament, there will be a tiny amount of poetic justice. There's no way in heck I can actually find the article now, but back in 2006 or so, a South African online site previewed the World Cup and picked Conrad - Jimmy Freaking Conrad - as one of the US rising stars. I laughed and laughed, but by the power of Greyskull, damned if Conrad doesn't go out and have a great tournament. I hope if Jimmy makes the roster, he gets to go to South African and meet whoever this correspondent was, because the guy can read his future.