Photo: Hector Vivas (Getty)

In a better world, the news that Toronto FC and USMNT striker Jozy Altidore’s underwent foot surgery yesterday would’ve been awful. Oh Christ, you would’ve thought to yourself after seeing the Altidore news in this hypothetical world where the weather’s a little nicer and your parent company is a little less of a disaster and U.S. Soccer isn’t full of quite as many sucker-ass jabronis, Jozy’s out for four-to-six weeks?!? What are we going to do? The World Cup is just a month away!!!!

Unfortunately, in the real world—with its weather that ranges from too-hot to not-even-consistently-warm-enough-for-me-to-put-my-jacket-away-for-good-even-though-it’s-May-already-and-I-just-want-to-sit-outside-and-drink-beers-in-a-t-shirt-and-enjoy-life, and its outrageously inept business execs, and its contemptibly craven American soccer players and coaches and overseers—this Altidore news instead is just a depressing reminder of a sad fact that every American soccer fan would love to forget but is duty-bound not to.

Altidore’s successful surgery yesterday, which was to “remove bone fragments from his foot” and the recovery from which is scheduled to keep him out of action until right around the start of the World Cup, which kicks off on June 14th, will have no bearing on soccer’s biggest tournament. That’s because the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup in excruciating, humiliating fashion. Yes, they failed to qualify for the World Cup even though the CONCACAF qualification process is a joke, even though the U.S. has exponentially more money and talent in its soccer program than many of the teams that finished ahead of them, even though all the mighty USMNT had to do was avoid losing to fucking Trinidad & Tobago to back their way into the tournament.

Altidore will indeed miss the World Cup this summer, but not because of this surgery. It’s because the USMNT sucks ass. Never forget.