In a terribly unexpected result, the United States finished behind China, Japan, Great Britain and Ukraine on Monday to come up empty-handed yet again.
Empty-handed may be a bit harsh, but this was the perfect opportunity for the five Americans to bring home the country's first gold medal in gymnastics since the 1984 Los Angles Summer Games.
That dream was not realized in London, though.
After a dominant showing in the qualifying round—in which Danell Leyva, John Orozco, Jonathan Horton, Sam Mikulak and Jake Dalton combined to finish nearly three points ahead of second-place Russia—the Americans faltered when it counted.
One of the major factors contributing to the subpar performance was the team's inability to get off to a good start. On the opening floor exercise, Dalton and Mikulak posted scores lower than the totals they put up in the qualifying round. Leyva bettered his qualification score, but he was far from impressive on the floor.
That was a bad omen for the Americans.
Leyva and Orozco, who were supposed to anchor this team, notched two of the worst scores of the day on the pommel horse. The former fell off mid-routing, and Orozco might as well have, as he was able to muster just a 12.733.
The rings weren't a total disaster for the squad, but it was far too late to muster a comeback following the brutal opening.
We knew the vault wasn't the strong point of this team, but we weren't expecting a sixth-place finish on the biggest stage. Orozco was wobbly to lead off the trio. Then Mikulak and Dalton both stepped out of bounds to effectively obliterate any shot the U.S. had left.
If the vault display wasn't so miserable, the men would have had a fighter's chance at vying for the bronze medal. Third-place finishes in both the parallel bars and horizontal bar fell far short of the redemption that the fivesome surely wanted.
It is impossible to call the group a lost cause, as every member but Horton is 20 years old or younger. However, we learned that the group has a lot of work to do leading up to the individual competitions, as well as their journey to Brazil in 2016.