The U.S. men's soccer team failed to quality for the Olympics again after losing to Honduras, 2-1, in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday. "Obviously, we're devastated, absolutely devastated," said U.S. Under-23 Coach Jason Kreis, brought on in 2019 to lead the team which last competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. "In our locker room, the guys are like it's a tragedy — a tragedy."
Under a 1992 agreement with FIFA, the men's Olympic teams are all under-23, ensuring the primacy of the World Cup, The New York Times explains. "It remains an important barometer of a country's ability to produce young talent," but after a promising start this year, the young U.S. team lost to the young Hondurans. The senior U.S. men's team also failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The senior U.S. women's team, reigning World Cup champions, qualified last year and are favorites to win a fifth gold medal in Japan this summer.
Honduras and Mexico — which beat Canada 2-0 in the other semifinal match — will play each other Tuesday, but both teams will head to Tokyo. The other 14 teams who will compete this summer are Japan, 2016 gold medalists Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, Egypt, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and New Zealand.
The U.S. men's team has played in four Olympics but never won a medal. They failed to qualify in 2004, 2012, and 2016, and they were knocked out in the first round in Beijing in 2008.