Error Ends USA Soccer’s Olympic Hopes

March 27, 2012 by staff 

Error Ends USA Soccer’s Olympic Hopes, On a night of swings and dips and controversy and drama – and one catastrophic error – the United States’ Olympic dreams were washed away amid a flood of tears. The most rudimentary of follies from substitute goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the final seconds of injury time eliminated USA from the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in the cruelest fashion possible, as El Salvador snatched a 3-3 draw at LP Field.

The suddenness of it all, the end of an adventure that was supposed to span several more months and cross the Atlantic to London, was too much for many players and head coach Caleb Porter to bear.

Porter bravely fought back tears in his press conference, nerves still raw and shredded, scarcely able to believe the hand fate had dealt him and his young team. Olympic soccer is played by squads of players in the Under-23 age bracket and, for some, Monday may have been their final night in a USA shirt.

Porter and Johnson had embraced in the locker room; the coach tried desperately to find some words of solace to offer a young man whose world collapsed with a mistimed dive that he would normally complete without a second thought.

“I just hugged him,” Porter said. “Cried with him. Can you imagine? He feels like he has let everyone down, let his teammates down. I told him he didn’t.

“I have never experienced anything like that. I have never felt anything like this in my life. That’s honest. The worst part about the way it ended is that we don’t have any more time together. They showed a lot of the things we are known for in this country. Heart, passion, grit. They deserved better.”

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