The U23 U.S. Men’s National Team recently failed to qualify for the Olympics for the second year in a row. This is the first time since the 1960s that the team has missed back-to-back Olympic appearances.
Colombia clinched the final spot in Rio de Janeiro defeating the U.S. 2-1. The first goal was scored by Colombia in the 30th minute putting the U.S. behind. The score changed in the 57th minute when Deiver Machado accidentally headed the ball into his own goal, tying the match at 1-1. However, the U.S. celebration was short-lived as only minutes later Colombia scored their second and final goal of the match.
The U.S. had their sights set on the 2016 Olympics during the 2015 season, and this loss comes as a major blow to the coaches and players. Many have been questioning the methods of the coaches as the U.S. Men’s Teams have had poor performances in the past few Olympics. Regardless, the team looks poised and focused to come back stronger next year after a disappointing loss.
The sixteen teams advancing to the tournament are Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Germany, Algeria, Iraq, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Qatar and Fiji. Group matches are set to begin August 4th with the championship match scheduled to be played August 20th.