Omar Gonzalez: “We let down an entire nation today.” (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

COUVA, Trinidad — The U.S. national team was a contrite bunch after it was eliminated from contention from the 2018 World Cup Tuesday night.

They players did not make excuses and took the blame.

Center back Omar Gonzalez lamented the own goal he scored, which start Trinidad & Tobago to a 2-1 victory over the Americans in the final match of the CONCACAF Hexagonal in the 17th minute.

“It’s one that will haunt me forever,” he said in a TV interview.

“Just want to say sorry to the fans — all the U.S. fans that were pulling for us, that wanted to go to Russia and that believed in us. We let down an entire nation today.”

U.S. captain and midfielder Michael Bradley, who had played in the past two World Cups, made no excuses as well.

“We let ourselves down, we’ve let our fans and everybody who supports us back home down,” he said.

“When things go wrong, you have no choice but to stand and face the music. … With time, a lot of time, be ready to move on in a strong way, but this one isn’t going away anytime soon. … It was all there for us and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at