The US men’s soccer team won’t be traveling to Tokyo for this summer’s Olympics after losing to Honduras 2-1 on Sunday in Mexico. This is the third Olympics in a row that the American soccer team will be sitting out. The last time they participated in the Olympics was in 2008.
The slump to Honduras saw the Americans concede goals on either side of halftime. The second, which was the result of a disastrous mistake by goalkeeper David Ochoa proved to be decisive.
“The goal was to qualify for the Olympics, and we didn’t get the job done today,” US defender Henry Kessler said.
These are troubling times for the US men’s team, which ingloriously finished ninth in Beijing in 2008, winning only the opening game against Japan. The latest loss underscores the fact that recent years haven’t seen much in the way of progress.
The team failed to qualify in Athens in 2004 and missed out on the London Olympics in 2012 and the one held in Rio in 2016. Since 1992, this tournament has been an under-23 championship, and the Americans’ inability to provide young talent is proving to be worrisome for many.
Following the Honduras victory, the 16-team list for the Olympics is now complete. It already includes Japan, Brazil, and Argentina. They’ll be joined by European squads from France, Germany, Romania, and Spain, as well as Africa’s Egypt, South Africa, and Ivory Coast. New Zealand will be representing Oceania, while Australia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea made the cut from Asia’s qualifiers.
The good news for the US is that even though the men didn’t qualify for the Olympics, the female team is the favorite and could claim their fifth gold medal.