The postponement of Tokyo 2020 means the United States U-23 men and their loaded roster will have to wait for their chance to qualify for a first Olympics since 2008.
That’s not news, but who comprises the qualifying roster might be.
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The cut-off birth date for the tournament was set for Jan. 1, 1997, but there’s some question as to whether the International Olympic Committee will move that forward a year or keep the original date.
Considering the amount of time coach Jason Kreis and U.S. Soccer have put into making this team a force, that’s a big question.
Who could the roster lose if the date gets moved to exclude 1997 birthdays? Jackson Yueill, Justen Glad, Erik Palmer-Brown, Sebastian Saucedo, Jeremy Ebobisse, JT Marcinkowski, Aaron Herrera, Hassani Dotson, and Jonathan Lewis.
That’s nine of the 20 Kreis named for qualifying. It would also removed injured or uncalled players like Antonee Robinson, Keaton Parks, Brooks Lennon, and Haji Wright.
It’s not a terrible worry, to be honest, because it does affect the field. Erick Aguirre, Cesar Montes, and Uriel Antuna are amongst 12 Mexican players who would miss the cut.
There will be also players 23-and-under who grow leaps and bounds as players in interim. It is, however, a worry.
If there’s a big winner, it’s probably Canada. Many of the key pieces for Mauro Biello’s Les Rouges are safe even if it’s moved to 1998.