May 14, 2021

Sports Legend

US men’s soccer team fail to qualify for 3rd consecutive Olympics


The American players fell onto the field at the final whistle. Another missed Olympic football tournament for American men.

Juan Carlos Obregón scored in the fourth minute of the first half stoppage time, goalkeeper David Ochoa made a mistake that gave Luis Palma a goal two minutes after the start of the second half and Honduras defeated the United States 2-1 on Sunday in an Olympic qualifying match in Guadalajara, Mexico.

US captain Jackson Yueill struck out a goal with a 23-yard curling shot in the 52nd minute, but the Americans missed several good chances to tie the game.

“Obviously we are devastated, absolutely devastated,” said US coach Jason Kreis. “In our locker room, the guys are like it’s a tragedy – a tragedy.”

The Americans struggled to create opportunities in the first half and the Americans missed their third consecutive Olympics.

“They were very good at the man-oriented to stop the players, which didn’t give us a lot of time to break them,” said Yeuill.

The US Olympic skid is part of a trend that includes the senior national team missing the 2018 World Cup.

“We are losing an opportunity to play in an international tournament with more pressure, where these players have to be in these environments and keep improving with that pressure,” Kreis said.

Jonathan N & uacute;  & ntilde;  ez # 06 of Honduras fights for the ball with Aaron Herrera # 17 of the United States in the semi-final


Refugio Ruiz via Getty Images

Jonathan Núñez # 06 of Honduras fights for the ball with Aaron Herrera # 17 of the United States in the semi-final match between Honduras and the United States of the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying at Jalisco Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz / Getty Images)

Men’s Olympic football is limited to players born January 1, 1997 and after, and clubs do not have to release players.

On the other hand, the women’s tournament is open to senior national teams. The United States have won three of football’s last four gold medals and are favored to win again this summer.

Still, there were chances. Jonathan Lewis’ 63rd-minute header was directed out of the goal line by Wesley Degas, and Yueill’s 69th free-kick was struck by goalkeeper Alex Barrios. Lewis landed an open shot from 4 yards on Tanner Tessman’s pass in the 83rd minute, but allowed the ball to bounce off a boot. Johnny Cardoso hit an open header badly in the second half’s stoppage time.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game where we had players who had so much control of the ball going under people’s feet, going out of bounds,” Kreis said. “These are things that are really – are you really scratching your head, do you think about what’s going on here?” But I’ve also been around enough in the game in our country on a professional level to tell you that’s what you see in preseason and early in MLS seasons, that’s typical. “

Kreis had seen the same of his team during the group stage.

“I think the first half was a lot like the first half for the Dominican Republic,” Kreis said. “We have players who don’t move. We have people on the ball who do not commit the defenders to make decisions, to open spaces. We have guys who seem like they don’t really want the ball, and so it comes down to a mentality mostly for me. “

Honduras qualified for its fourth consecutive Olympic Games this summer in Japan after finishing fourth in 2016. Mexico, gold medalist in 2012, took the other place of North and Central America and the Caribbean beating Canada 2-0 in Game 2 of the double. on your mind.

CONCACAF qualifiers join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Ivory Coast, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Spain in the draw to be held in Zurich on April 21. The tournament will be played from July 21 to August 7 in Tokyo, Kashima, Miyagi, Saitama, Sapporo and Yokohama.

Jos & eacute;  Pinto # 17 of Honduras fights for the ball with Jes & uacute;  s Ferreira # 09 of the United States during the semifinal m


Refugio Ruiz via Getty Images

José Pinto # 17 of Honduras fights for the ball with Jesús Ferreira # 09 of the United States in the semi-final match between Honduras and the United States of the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying at Jalisco Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz / Getty Images)

In a 90-degree afternoon kick off at 4 p.m. at 5,100 feet, Honduras took the lead after a clearance from Justen Glad followed a free kick. The US defense began to move up the field as Edwin Maldonado recovered the ball and quickly made a long, diagonal pass. Denil Maldonado sprinted past defenders and returned the ball through the mouth of the goal with a diving header and New York-born Obregón used his left leg to redirect the ball past Ochoa.

On the second goal, Ochoa received Aaron Herrera’s back pass just outside the penalty area, hesitated and attempted to blow the ball up the field. The ball ricocheted off Palma’s left leg and into the US goal – an Ochoa mistake that was reminiscent of Sean Johnson’s poor play that stunned the United States in qualifying for 2012.

Among the top American unqualified players were Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Sergiño Dest, Chris Richards and Antonee Robinson.

Atlanta refused to release defenders George Bello and Miles Robinson, as well as forward Brooks Lennon.

“The only solution I would say there is if you can get the European players who are in the mid-season,” Kreis said, “then maybe you’re in better shape, but we all know the hardships. of that, too. “

Notes: Mexican Uriel Antuna scored his third goal of the tournament in the 57th minute after Carlos Rodríguez intercepted a pass from goalkeeper James Pantemis. Johan Vásquez added a goal in the 65th when his header bounced off a post and then onto the chest of Canadian Callum Montgomery.