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Phil Kessel was the most popular American at the World Cup

It didn't matter that he wasn't there - he was what the people wanted.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It has not been a good World Cup for Team USA.

Widely criticized for their roster decisions - one of the most notable being the snub of Phil Kessel - the Americans bowed out of the tournament with no wins through three round robin games, including the 4-2 loss to Team Canada that saw them eliminated.

That was when Kessel singlehandedly won the tournament.

He has since clarified that he meant no disrespect to any of the American players, which I think was obvious enough; all vitriol should be aimed towards the management that put the team together, not to mention the coaching style of one John Tortorella.

Regardless, though, it was Kessel who stole the show for the Americans, all without being there.

And that was made even more apparent in the U.S.' final, meaningless game against the Czech Republic - one in which the fans at the Air Canada Centre made it clear that they wanted Phil.

Remember, that used to be Kessel's home barn; he left a lot of fans back in Toronto. He's just popular wherever he goes - and maybe a player the U.S. should consider taking next time there's an international tournament and he's available.