The USMNT has started CONCACAF Olympic qualifying with two wins from two as they beat Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, but then lost to Mexico.
Now comes the hard part.
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Jason Kreis’ side have huffed and puffed so far, but they’ve got the job done as they head into Sunday’s quarterfinal against Honduras knowing they are one win away from reaching the Olympics.
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With the U.S. U-23 men’s national team so close to securing a first spot at the Olympics since 2008, the young Yanks will face tough tests in their next few games as they try to reach Tokyo.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are eligible to compete in this tournament, which is essentially an under-24 competition, and if the USMNT do qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo, we could see the likes of Christian Pulisic and many other stars feature for Team USA.
“We know that qualifying will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we’re ready for. We’ll need all 20 players on this roster to contribute for us to achieve our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics,” Kreis said. “We’ve had a productive training camp in Guadalajara and our players are hungry for the opportunity to compete. After starting this journey nearly two years ago, we’re excited to get started with the tournament.”
Sebastian Soto and Djordje Mihailovic are some of the higher profile players included in this squad, as the entire tournament takes place in Mexico on Mar. 18-30.
You won’t need reminding that the USMNT have failed to qualify for the last two Olympics and for this qualifying tournament the USMNT have been drawn in Group A alongside Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Group B includes Canada, El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals and the two teams who reach the final will qualify for the final tournament at the Tokyo Olympics which runs from July 21 to August 7 in 2021.
USMNT roster for Olympic qualifying – Full squad lists, here
GOALKEEPERS (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; Lynwood, Calif.), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Jacksonville, Fla.), Andres Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (4): Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)
CONCACAF Olympic qualifying
CONCACAF 2020 Olympic qualifying schedule
Thursday, March 18 – Jalisco Stadium
USA 1-0 Costa Rica
Mexico 4-1 Dominican Republic
Friday, March 19 – Jalisco Stadium
3:30pm ET: Honduras 3-0 Haiti
6pm ET: Canada 2-0 El Salvador
Sunday, March 21 – Akron Stadium
Dominican Republic 0-4 USA
Costa Rica 0-3 Mexico
Monday, March 22 – Akron Stadium
Haiti 0-0 Canada
El Salvador 1-1 Honduras
Wednesday, March 24 – Jalisco Stadium
Costa Rica 5-0 Dominican Republic
Mexico 1-0 USA
Thursday, March 25 – Jalisco Stadium
El Salvador 2-1 Haiti
Honduras 1-1 Canada
Sunday, March 28 – Jalisco Stadium
6pm ET: Honduras v. USA
9pm ET: Mexico v. Canada
Tuesday, March 30 – Akron Stadium
9pm ET: Winner Semifinal 1 vs Winner Semifinal 2