The last person you want to be today is Chris Wondolowski. After the USMNT (Tim Howard, you hero) held the Belgians off for 90 impressive minutes, Wondo received the ball six yards from the goal off a perfect header from Jermaine Jones. It was two minutes into extra time. He had only the keeper to beat. At that moment, he seemed a second second away from securing the most famous victory in U.S. Soccer history. From his spot on the pitch, it looked like it was going to be harder to miss than to score.
We all know what happened next.
The good news is that the future is bright for U.S. Soccer. And as America moves through the five stages of grief, we can take heart in the team's hard-fought performance, its unexpected emergence from the Group of Death, and the memory of Julian Green's unlikely goal that sparked the final rally against Belgium. But before you move on from Depression to Acceptance, here are five clips that make it clear that Wondo really, really should have been able to knock that ball in.
Here's Wondolowski not-whiffing against Cuba:
And here he is notching a brace against South Korea:
Finally, here's Wondo managing to find the goal not once, not twice, but three times against Belize:
We know: Courtois is GIGANTIC. And really good. And we hate to pile on. But it's going to take a while to forget, and forgive, this one.
Elaine Teng is the managing editor of The New Republic.