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USA vs El Salvador: Epic Fail Costs US Men's Soccer Team Chance at Olympics

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IMarch 27, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 26:  Freddy Adu #7 of the USA leaves the field after El Salvador ties the USA in a 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying match at LP Field on March 26, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Everyone expected the United States men's soccer squad battling for Olympic qualification to do its job and secure a place in this summer's London games.

But, as is so often the case in international competition, not everything goes according to plan.

Team USA failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics on Monday night when a stoppage time goal from El Salvador to tie the game at 3-3 left the Americans stunned.

It's going to take a while for fans to get over this, but for the players, it may take much longer.

"This is probably the worst feeling I've ever felt in my life so far as a pro athlete," U.S. captain Freddy Adu said via ESPN. "This is going to be hard to get over. But at the end of the day things like this happen. For me, I never want to feel this way again, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to never feel this way again."

What needs to be pointed out here is that the USA squad that failed to defeat El Salvador and thus fail to qualify for the Olympics was made up of players 23 years old and younger. Olympic rules allow for only three roster spots for veterans older than 23. Stars such as Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan were not present in this match.

Even though the USA senior squad likely would have destroyed El Salvador, especially in a match of great importance, there is absolutely no excuse for the American under-23 players to not beat an inferior side such El Salvador.

What this result really proves is how weak the up and coming talent in American soccer is. I understand many of these players are inexperienced and still young and improving. However, with the talent Team USA has, failing to defeat to a country like El Salvador is unacceptable.

I mean no disrespect to El Salvador, who played well and deserved to move on, but they do not have the talent the Americans possess.

Hopefully the players on this Olympic squad use this failure as a learning experience and a motivational tool.

For the game of soccer to become prominent in the country, the Americans have to qualify for the Olympics and be able to beat teams such as El Salvador.