That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

–Homer Simpson

Couldn’t have said it better myself. The US sucked today. They sucked. There’s not much else to say, aside from describing how much they sucked and why they sucked. And suck they most certainly did.

Oguchi Onyewu was supposed to be the big, bad stopper who was going to knock the other team’s forwards around. Wrong. The Czechs score on a header in the first five minutes? Wasn’t the whole point of putting a 6’4” monster at center back to keep that from happening? Thirty minutes later, he “clears” the ball a whopping twenty yards, right back to the Czechs who promptly put it in our net. Late in the game, he gets spun around on a through ball that burns the whole back line, and it’s 3-0, Czech Republic. Mr. Onyewu, you sucked the worst. I have no earthly idea why Bruce Arena said you played okay, unless it was to boost your confidence for the next game.

Onyewu was the most glaring problem, but he was far from being the only problem. The entire team sucked. More specifically, they played with neither confidence nor aggression nor skill when the game started. Worse, after they fell behind 1-0 and 2-0, they played with no urgency. None. We had maybe two good shots, and we made little to no effort to block their outside shots. On the third goal, the entire back line simply jogged after Rosicky as he blew right past them. It was disgusting.

It was horrible. I’ve not seen the US play so poorly since they last had an excuse for playing so poorly, which was in 1990 and we were happy just to be in the World Cup. I say they played worse today than in any of the games in France ’98—we finished dead last out of 32 in that tournament, and that’s right where we are today. Dead… last.

The especially shocking thing is that this is a Bruce Arena-coached team. The man is a great, great coach. I remember watching him coach UVA against Clemson when I was in college; if ever his players were less skilled than their opponents, they more than made up for it in brains, guts, and effort–but not today. I’ve never seen any of his teams play this badly.

This was embarrassing. Because it was such a blowout, we can’t realistically plan on advancing on the goal difference tiebreaker. We need to beat Italy and Ghana, which is tough enough without considering how awful the team was today.

Did I say it was embarrassing? I was wrong; it was humiliating. American soccer has come so far since we qualified for the 1990 World Cup, and while I know that one crappy 90-minute non-performance can’t ruin soccer forever in the US, it sure does feel like it did.

I don’t care how well Rosicky or Nedved played, or how much bigger their players were—we were horrible. We put up no fight. We let them beat us. If we’d played even a mediocregame today , it would have been a tie or a 1-0 loss, which would have been much easier to recover from. If we’d played well today, we would have won. This wasn’t like playing againstItaly in 1990 or Brazil in 1994, when winning would have required our greatest game ever and a few miracles. We don’t need miracles against the Czechs or the Italians nowadays, we need our team to show up and show effort. We didn’t; we lost.

Again, to reiterate: the US team sucked today.

The first batch of first-round games aren’t over yet, but I think Italy and Argentina have been the best so far. Germany and England are close, but Germany desperately needs better organization on defense and England needs to do better on offense– you can’t rely on own goals. Maybe when Rooney comes back, the offense will kick in. Oh, “kick in,” I made a pun. Meh.