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U.S. Men's Olympic Team

U.S. U-23s miss out on Olympics with loss to Colombia

Photo by Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

Photo by Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

For the second straight cycle, the U.S Under-23 Men’s National Team will not be heading to the Olympics.

After missing out on the 2012 tournament, the 2016 U.S. team forced to the same fate on Tuesday via a 2-1 loss to Colombia in Frisco, Texas. Following a 1-1 draw in Baranquillo, Colombia, the U.S. was undone by a Roger Martinez double. Adding insult to injury was that the Americans finished the match with nine men.

After maintaining a majority of possession through the opening half hour, Colombia finally found their breakthrough through Martinez. Following some chaos in the box caused by a mishit clearance, the ball fell to Colombia’s Andrés Felipe Roa at the top of the box. Roa’s shot was going well wide, but Martinez was waiting at the back post to slide in and poke the ball home for a crucial away goal.

Just moments after the U.S. found an own goal equalizer, Colombia reestablished their lead in the 65th minute with Martinez proving the danger man once again. On a cross in from the left side, Martinez’s touch down fooled Tim Parker, giving the Colombia forward plenty of space to fire home to give the visitors a major advantage.

Colombia likely deserved to have netted one earlier, but was undone by a spectacular save by Ethan Horvath. The Molde goalkeeper, who was forced out of the opening leg due to injury, made a phenomenal fingertip save in the 15th minute to keep the Americans in it. Another brave clearance soon followed, as Horvath did everything in his power to keep the U.S. alive early.

Horvath’s efforts appeared to pay dividends, as Colombia’s first goal was matched by the U.S in the 57th minute via a self-inflicted mistake. On a long ball over the top from Emerson Hyndman, Colombia defender Deiver Machado’s header went over the head of Cristian Bonilla and into the net for an own goal to push the scoreline to one apiece.

The U.S. never got much of a chance to push for the winner, as first leg goalscorer Luis Gil and centerback Matt Miazga were sent off in the game’s waning moments. Martinez’s finished all but sealed Colombia’s passage to this summer’s Olympic games in Rio, while the U.S. will have to settle for a second straight cycle without an appearance in the tournament.

What did you think of the U.S. performance? Did any American players stand out over the two matches?

Share your thoughts below.

104 comments
  • Panda

    I wrote this in the PBP thread, but it bears repeating here:
    I’m not angry or sad about this result. Colombia was far superior in every single aspect. Pathetic display by an absolutely dreadful U.S. team. Not a single U.S. player would start for that Colombian team. The yanks did not deserve to go to the Olympics. As soon as they lost to Honduras in the Concacaf tourney, it was pretty much over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simonlovesusmnt

      It’s sad to see the poor technical skills demonstrated by the US U23 players. The Colombia team was way superior by comparison.

      Like

  • Cabrito

    The men’s program still doesn’t have the quality and “game smarts” to win the games that will put us at an elite level. It’s clear that it won’t happen under the Klinsman regime. We were outclassed by an average South American side.

    Like

    • Joseph Mathew Varghese

      Well the average South American side had way more talent and ability. We still have ways to go in developing elite players. Not much point in blaming the coaches. They’re doing all they can with the talent at their disposal. Someday…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Johnnyrazor

      They finished 2nd in the CONMEBOL qualification, and because it was used to also send teams to other tournaments Brazil was competing even though they had qualified for the Olympics. Enough to blame to go around within the American team if you want to do that, but that was more than an average side.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carbrito

        They’re good but there’s certainly nothing elite about them. It shouldn’t have been as close as it was.

        Like

  • Aaron

    Tonight’s commentator said it best. I just want to see progress, and I haven’t seen any in the past few years. If we wanted to go to the Olympics, we should have qualified during the group stage.

    Like

    • Louis Z

      I agree, it should have never gone to this point (the playoff), we were flat against Honduras and Honduras had a forward that brought his “A” game. Our go to guy (Morris) disappear a while ago, at least, he is consistent…he hasn’t done much for Seattle either.

      Like

  • Joe

    Can’t say that we deserved to make it through. Colombia were far better over the two game series. The USA could not maintain any possession and looked absolutely devoid of any creativity in the Colombian half. We were lucky to string more than 3 passes together. And…did Herzog really think we could hold on for a 0-0 tie in this match? There was no urgency until Colombia scored the first goal. US Soccer needs to start holding people accountable for these results.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      I actually thought they played better in Colombia. They were flat all game. Maybe it was the lineup, maybe it was that the players were still gassed from playing in the heat from Friday. They couldn’t string two passes together. They made high school or lower level mistakes all game. Their performance was embarrassing. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cvs

      Yeah, why not? I liked him more than the previous color commentator who continuously reverses himself throughout a match.

      Like

    • Atx-Colin

      I initially was thinking the same, but he did a solid job and provided some good perspective.

      Like

  • Benjamin C.

    Like H.G.Wells said, bows and arrows against the lightning. The guys were overmatched in every way. The starting lineup signaled the U.S. had little intent to go after it, and this showed. Low energy, the team were a step slow to everything, almost no composure. No real attacking plan. And then to have to listen to Moreno condone what every casual fan watching ESPN hates about the sport. Dreadful game to witness.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Bryan

    Losing is fine but this group gave us nothing to be proud of. Right down to stomping on guys. Enjoy the Olympics on TV guys.

    Like

    • KNPonder

      Agreed. This bunch is hard to cheer for. Pulled some of the same stuff in the CONCACAF tourney.

      Like

  • Johnnyrazor

    The real question might be how does Asia and Africa get three automatic bids and N. America and S. America get 2.5 Enter your conspiracy theory here.

    On the positive side Columbia may bring a much more youthful side to Copa America now in preparation for the Olympics.

    Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        Amphib with your facts. And since it is a youth tournament the African sides will probably show well. Perhaps Iraq will choose Justin Meram as an overage player so we can have one American in the Olympic Soccer Tournament.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paul

        Yes, the African sides will do well again. It’s a U-23 tournament, and the African players will have a ‘3’ in their age somewhere.

        Like

  • Rob

    Not a big loss. It only means we don’t get to bunker against better teams in a bigger stage. At some point we need to start playing as if we belong with the big dogs. If the system doesn’t believe on its players the players don’t believe on themselves

    Liked by 1 person

    • AMPhibian

      This was my biggest beef this game, besides the disgraceful lack of composure from some of our players. Why did we bunker so deep with no clear plan or practice to counter? They were setting up their offense unthreatened in our half before the goal … not gonna last 90. The only reason we tied the first game is because we tried to play with them. They still dominated, but I’m not sure if the tactic to start this game had a reasonable goal.

      Like

      • Thor

        Why did we bunker so deep? That’s on the coaching and what I found most frustrating.

        Like

    • tukmenbashy

      O my lord. You commenters are nuts. Fire Klinsmann? Fire Herzog? but yeah by all means bring shipp to the full MNT! allow me to walk through the lessons learned from this game (which is the first game I managed to watch more than 10 minutes of… so maybe they just had a bad day… probably not, but I like to leave some benefit of the doubt out there).

      1) they are completely undisciplined (how you are stepping on, people and kicking them all game) people ALL game is a bloody embarrasment. There needs to be a meeting between JK and Herzog as to what is up with the mental toughness.

      2) all the morons who think polster, gil, shipp, miazga, parker, hyndman, hell, anyone on the team is the USMNT savior… you guys need to shut up. If they haven’t been picked by the National team… they probably don’t deserve it at this point. OMG, imagine what Carlos Ruiz would have gotten Gil to do… US U23 team would lose against carlos Ruiz and a goalie… because they would have 4 red cards and have to forfeit!

      3) How is Shipp soooo bad? and Polster too. Both guys got their pockets picked ALL GAME. Did Herzog not teach these kids how to shield the ball? This goes back to my previous post the other dy on how our players just don’t have a feel for the game… how do you not hear footsteps? How can you play in the MLS AND NOT HEAR FOOTSTEPS?

      4) our players fitness levels were really bad… not only that, they were weak as heck. I mean, and I noticed this when we played Serbia last year in the world cup… our guys are getting just pushed off the ball on all sorts of challenges where they need to stay on their feet and use some strength… Morris and Miazga didn’t… but everyone else, especially Hyndman… jeez, its like they have never been in a weight room.

      5) Acosta might have some hope same with Payne because once they got their feet under them they played hard and managed to show me something in terms of technical skill… But man their first 45 minutes was a massive waste.

      6) just like the overage guys, they have no sense of build-up play, no idea how to play soccer… 3-4 passes, and then direct on goal… all game. no wonder you never have possession… and I blame shipp and polster for that too… god, I can’t overstate how terrible, just awful they were….

      God I am getting depressed just remembering so I am going to stop… Bottom line, people need to stop criticizing Klinsmann’s selections and tactics if this is what the US has in the cupboard… god, if he can get guys like these to play at the full national team level, then that alone makes him a crazy genius… and BTW, people need to start agreeing with JK about US player fitness levels… they are not fit (Morris, Miazga and acosta aside).

      Liked by 1 person

      • tukmenbashy

        trapp… my bad… I think I have been calling out the wrong person all morning… its the pp thing. Arriola was pretty awful too.

        Like

  • Geoff Wentlandt

    Observations:

    – There was nothing whatsoever in attack. Too slow to combine to unlock anything. No ideas. Hyndman ‘looks’ to create but it’s still a back pass 90% of the time. No progress on this front in the Klinsi era.
    – I was watching for a leader. Who could step up and will the team on. Didn’t really see one. Tim Parker maybe. Acosta showed some heart.
    – Yedlin should have been there.
    – Not sure why you take Morris off, Shelton didn’t add much.
    – Luis Gil was dissapointing. The lame little kickout to get yellow.

    This failure is yet more evidence that Klinsman must go.

    Like

    • AMPhibian

      Morris was gassed. He showed it last game too; that he can’t hang for very long yet. I’m not sure why he started considering his fitness issues displayed last match. I think he needs to drop 10 pounds,

      Like

      • Jurgen

        He’s looked heavy to me too. Just weirdly bulky compared to his early run outs with the full squad.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Fire Klinsmann

    This Columbia team was better than the Guat team we just beat and I think could beat our Sr team too. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. Poor play put us into this playoff. Shouldnt havve had to even be there.

    Klinsmann gets a small rebirth tonight but Horvath should be GONE. He failed and we did have the talent

    Like

    • Benjamin C.

      I’m guessing you mean Herzog, which I would agree with, he seems to be an awful coach. Horvath was actually the one player that acquitted himself quite well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WxELFxW

      Ehhhh, Horvath should be gone? Yes, let’s throw away promising talent. I don’t know what game you were watching but obviously we didn’t have the talent. We were punchless going forward and couldn’t cope with Columbia’s pressure. But, you’re right… Over reacting is best.

      Like

      • JK

        They did not play Columbia. Take a spelling class. i will take the USMNT to the WC finals 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Like

    • JK

      You are delusional if you think the U-23 Colombian team can defeat a full strength US MNT …just delusional. Maybe they win one out of 10 times. And learn to spell. It’s Colombia not Columbia PPSSS

      Like

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers

        I don’t think that is what the OP said. They said that the Colombia U-23 squad was more talented and skillful than the Guatemala MNT which beat us on Friday.

        Like

    • Thor

      Thanks for making me laugh, but there is no way the Colombia U-23 could beat our National team.

      Like

      • KNPonder

        I suspect that we will actually get the chance to see that matchup on June 3.

        Like

  • Gary Page

    While we have some players that show promise, from striker to defense Colombia’s players are more skilled and better all around. I don’t think coaching can change that. We have a long way to go yet to produce a meaningful number of quality players to compete with the big dogs.

    Like

    • Benjamin C.

      If you want to get kind of depressed, start with the the Eddie Johnson-Santino Quaranta U-17 team and look at every age group of youth players until now, write down every ‘can’t miss’ prospect, and decide which ones never lived up to their potential. Talk about some misjudgements.

      Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        You can do that with a lot of countries though too. If you look back at Mexico, England, or Germany you’d end up with quite a few, who was that guy that lead them scoring. Edgar Castillo scored in Olympic Qualifying for Mexico in 2008 when they failed to make it.

        Like

      • Astorian

        Even in elite footballing nations, the majority of youth national team players never make an impact on the senior team.

        Like

    • Goalscorer24

      I also blame the coach. Why do we bunker? After Colombia scored and the US had to play we did well. Then once we tied again we stopped playing. Bunkering for 90 minutes is a guaranteed disaster.

      Like

      • Jurgen

        Gary Page is a total soccer brain and he didn’t have a problem with the tactics. Herzog did great.

        Like

      • tukmenbashy

        Colombia let off the pedal a bit and gave the US time and space to operate after the first goal… whenever Colombia tried a little pressing, the US gave them the ball like it was a hot potato. The US wasn’t bunkering because it was a strategy… they were bunkered because Colombia was raining machine gun fire down on the door for most of the game.

        Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    Twice in a row…yet there’s no improvement level of quality, USA’s Youth teams are regressing and playing like 1980’s era USNT. The under 23’s should qualified without Brooks and Yedellin by now!

    Like

  • dUDERINHO

    this bunker mentality is the illness that the US Soccer has had since the 90’s

    Like

    • Louis Z

      I’m speaking for these U23 playoffs, I believe Herzog bunker even when he needed to score because he was in “survival mode”, if he opened up then it would be 5-0, by keeping it close, he had a chance for a steal and he did get it on Colombia’s own goal, after we conceded the second then the game was pretty much over. The so called up-n-comers didn’t come thru in the clutch when it mattered, that was our only chance.

      Like

  • Johnnyrazor

    We were far less talented, and out matched physically at most every position. I would give Herzog a pass because I think any manager with a significantly less talented side would have used the same strategy to start the game. However, we used pretty much the same strategy against Canada and Cuba so not sure how anyone could justify that. Pulisic would have helped, as would Brooks and Yedlin (although I don’t disagree with him being in Columbus that game was more important) we might have gotten a 0-0 draw with those three, but I don’t think we would have been much better offensively.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jack

    We seem to be stuck between 2 ideas right now and it’s not working. We bunker but don’t really effectively counter either. We actually looked decent after we went down a goal. When the team starts moving forward player actually have some option to pass it to. Funny how that works.

    Liked by 1 person

  • AMPhibian

    The commentors I love the most are the ones that make clear, well-reasoned opions, and can still appreciate your contrasting opinion if it comes across in the same clear, well-reasoned manner. I hope I’m like that.

    Like

  • Helium-3

    Creativity in soccer comes from years and years of unstructured play. I’m willing to bet the majority of our players just play soccer during training or practices, and once they go home, they play another sport. It’s a known cultural issue and no coaching can improve a player’s creativity.

    Go live in any country outside of the US and play soccer during all of your free time, then we might have another Messi. Even when we have the few creative players, other players around them on our team cannot play or understand intuitively their subtleties.

    Like

    • Gary Page

      I have taught in Mexican American communities and in those areas (in Southern California) you see this. Soccer is THE game. but it takes time and we started way behind the more established countries. Hopefully we will see significant progress in a decade, but it takes a while.

      Like

      • Grunt

        Most players on this team started playing soccer around the time a kid named Landon was winning the golden ball in the U17 World Cup. I’d say people are reasonable to expect more progress.

        Like

    • elstray

      “Creativity in soccer comes from years and years of unstructured play. I’m willing to bet the majority of our players just play soccer during training or practices, and once they go home, they play another sport. It’s a known cultural issue and no coaching can improve a player’s creativity”.

      It’s funny you mentioned that because it was reported on a show i listen to in spanish that Coach Pinto of Honduras in his pep talk to his Sub-23 players told them the following in spanish, “they (u.s. players) are born with play stations in their hands while we are born with footballs on our feet, and this must be reflected on the field”. I thought it was kinda of a pretty cool get you fired up pre-game speech i wonder what Herzog told his boys?

      That being said this U.S. team had more talent then most previous ones with a lot of guys belonging to European clubs already which makes me think Coaching had something to do with the fact we couldn’t beat Honduras. A good coach can have a great influence. I don’t buy this whole JK era apologist mentality of it’s all about the players and coaching doesn’t matter. Then why even have a coach?

      Like

    • g_dub

      I signed my 3 year old son up for a soccer clinic at the YMCA. Not because I expected it to be great, but just to get him exposed to the sport in a fun way at an early age.

      What happened was horrible. Every exercise was a structured drill. ‘Line up here kids’, ‘now get in a circle’ etc.. Most of the time was shuffling from one organized exercise to another with s lot of standing around. At that moment it was clear as day everything that is wrong with US soccer. From the earliest age we sap the individuality out of young players – and teach them a soccer culture that actively discouraged creativity. It was a painful experience and we stopped going.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers

        I agree. I used to coach U-14 and U-12, but my commitments got in the way. Anyway, I walk my dogs in an park that has some soccer fields on it, and every summer they have these U-6 camps there on the weekend, and I would watch the kids play. The fun aspect of playing has been completely sucked out of it by a bunch of helicopter parents. Let the kids play. IMO, they are too young to understand tactics and they find doing drills monotonous and boring.

        Liked by 1 person

    • AKinDC

      It’s no surprise that Dempsey, one of our few creative and technically skilled players, grew up playing pick-up soccer in the dirt against Hispanic kids in Texas.

      Like

  • Elber Galarga

    I didn’t think the team showed much this game. Some thoughts: Miazaga and Hynman seemed like average players at best.

    Acosta really struggled the last two games.

    Morris probably had the worst series out of everyone. Does this guy get any conditioning? Seems pretty overrated in his young club and country career. Really, you get subbed out in a crucial game.

    Like

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      Not only did he look terrible, but he has the worst body language. First, he looks like he’s tense and brooding. Second, he has terrible touch. Kieswetter is a better player and should have played the full 90.

      Like

  • Vic

    I remember when Tab Ramos put in about 6 Mexican Americans in the U20 qualifiers a few years ago. We got to the final and had more possession than Mexico in Mexico. At this stage I would have played more dual nationals like Joel Sonora and Alejandro Guido to have more possession. The more athletic less skilled US players clearly got outplayed.

    Like

    • wood chip zip

      You have it completely backward. Columbia players were physically superior to the US U23s which may have something to do with why they could show their full skills. US players have skills, not saying superior to Columbia’s, but when you are physically overmatched they can’t be put on full display

      Like

  • Bill

    We play, as in most situations like this, a pragmatic, hopeful, defensive game. We did the same thing against Belgium in the world cup. We have not progressed one but in the last 10 years. All of our players could be wearing different shirts and I wouldn’t know the difference. All the same, nothing more than hard working pluggers. Good fight but leagues behind in creativity, rhythm, touch and guile. To make it worse most of our players are pros. There is something seriously wrong in our development. Namely club soccer, where kids hop on planes to play in tournaments when they barely get 100 touches.

    Like

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      Yes we did bunker down until we were behind 2-0, but at least we scored and nearly tied it. If Wondo scores in the 90th minute, we would have accomplished the smash-and-grab. This was far more embarrassing.

      Like

  • chris w

    Hated the set up of this team with 3 holding mids, but not shocking from Herzog. I though horvath looked good despite the 2 goals allowed, he should probably be called up to the senior team. Miazga looked out of sorts, but saying before these two games, hadnt played a competitive match since november. Parker is what he is, a big bruting defender, take from that what you will. Acosta was trash, payne was as well. Trapp and polster lacked so much technical skill., and hyndman who had the technical skill really had an off night. Kiesewetter was garbage. Ill say this about morris, he is not this amazing prospect like we thought he was, in our winger depth he has quite a few guys ahead of him (FJ, bedoya, finlay, zardes, zusi).

    Also the way colombia played was despicable and the crap that alejandro moreno calling the game was unbelievable, I dont know if someone who can actively say they think diving and time wasting is part of the game should work for a big soccer channel. He says it like many latinos do, like its a matter of fact, part of the game, like its a tactical move or a strategy. It’s not, its cheating, and the way they got gil sent off was horrendous, terrible officiating over both legs. Yes they were better than us., but I would like to see the result with an 11 v 11 game

    Like

    • Rob

      I know it’s a tradition to blame the referee and call the other team classless after a loss (or a win) but if you watched this game you might want to hold up on the name calling, or at least redirect it.

      Like

    • Atx-Colin

      I witnessed our boys conducting themselves in a classless manner as well. Open your eyes Chris.

      Like

    • AKinDC

      You’re completely ignoring the fact that Parker should have been red carded early on for the stamping on the Colombian. The ref screwed up for both teams.

      Like

      • chris w

        Never, ever a red. The colombia player pulls up his leg right as parker is looking to step over him, not even close to a stomp. Yes our players could have behaved better but as far as gil is concerned, that is one of the worst reds ive ever seen given, what did he do for the second yellow?

        Like

    • Jeff

      There is gamesmanship in any sport. Basketball, for example, where there is some running of the clock, flopping (yep, lots of flopping), some fouls/calling timeouts to slow a game down or break up the other team’s momentum. American Football is full of this stuff. Hurting guys on the line, stomping, punching, cheap shots… have you not heard the stuff that linesmen yell at one another and at QBs and RBs to get into their heads? Stop pretending like Americans are somehow morally superior to others, cause they’re sure not. Just take a look at the presidential candidates.

      Like

      • chris w

        Your just an idiot, your bringing up the presidential candidates here? really? And in other sports timeouts are part of the rules, so therefore may be used tactically. Laying on the ground rolling around because you werent even touched, thats a whole nother thing. And where in my statement did I say anything about talking trash? I understand thats part of it, and usually doesnt really effect the game. Get real here dumba$$

        Like

  • Bill Minarik

    If you can’t win at home against a 3rd place team from another qualifying group, you aren’t
    going to have any success in the Olympics. Offense was the BIG problem here as the 2 goals
    scored by the U. S. were with the help of the opposition – one on a deflection and the other
    an O. G. I’m not sure whether it is player selection or coaching, but my observation of U.S.
    talent both at the college level and professional level, indicates the U. S. should be doing
    better.

    Like

    • Helium-3

      We don’t have many players with individual skill like the Colombians, so team soccer should be emphasized. Look at Germany and the collective way they play; they’ve won World Cups without having the individual skills of Latin (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, etc…) players.

      It can be done if the players buy into the system and willing to sacrifice individuality for the team. e.g., the goal scored by Altidore was an unintended pass from Dempsey, if Dempsey looked to
      the far post and made a simple pass to Finley, the high percentage goal would have occurred.

      Also being ruthless in front of the goal helps, instead of making things more complicated with an extra touch, dribble or cutback.

      JK isn’t the problem, but the players need to be willing to make runs (sacrifice) even if they aren’t going to receive the ball. How often do you see Altidore doing this but instead waiting for the play to come to him. If the players all agree to keep moving off the ball to pull opposition in different
      directions, then gaps will be seen in the defense, but only 1 or or 2 guys are willing to move and rest just stay stagnant and wait to react.

      Like

    • Johnnyrazor

      They finished 2nd in a region generally considered by most to be much better than CONCACAF. They use the same qualifying tournament to determine qualification for U20 World Cup, Pan Am Games and the Olympics so Brazil was still playing.

      Like

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      Agreed. We should have taken care of business last fall. However, we need to actually schedule or home matches where we have a REAL HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE and hold them someplace like Columbus, Portland, or Seattle. The game in Frisco, TX was a joke. Poorly attended and terrible conditions with the wind. The federation deserves scorn for scheduling Olympic matches in Nashville (2012), SLC (last fall) and last night. They should have had a double header last night at Mapfre where the lads could have at least had 18,000 fans behind them instead of a few hundred.

      Like

  • Atx-Colin

    A few thoughts:

    *Morris looked dreadful, his hold up play needs a lot of work.
    *The team fell apart at the end, cringe-worthy actions by a few (luis Gil , Parker etcc..)
    *Parker reminded me of a classic 1980’s style american defender. all brawn, no brains or feet for that matter

    Like

    • Johnnyrazor

      I got the impression it was for dissent since the referee didn’t show any inclination of going for his pocket until after Gil started screaming in his face. If it was for the flopping of the Colombian sure it was bad.

      Like

    • Johnnyrazor

      Technically he probably is, the U23 won’t reconvene for a couple of years now as there aren’t any competitions to prepare for. The guys who will be eligible next are still all U20s or U17s so they are with those groups so they don’t need to hold U23 tournaments or friendlies.

      Liked by 1 person

  • KC

    The pressure on these boys at home was evident. Down in Colombia, they were vintage US – get a goal and hang on to your butts. But they had grit and were real efficient and dangerous in their counter. Their game plan was less complex than at home.

    At home, it seems that they concentrated on possession but were not at all dangerous. Unfortunately, we are not a team that can do that against top competition. Is what it is.

    In retrospect, wish that we did not have that away goal and we just had to play to win.

    Thought Trapp had a very poor game. Hyndman did alright but his passing was just off. Example, through ball to Morris scooped up by keeper – was just too much on it.

    I wondered why Gil did not start. Quickly found out why as soon as he came on! He woke up on the wrong side of the bench, for sure.

    Miazga – yikes. Looked like bambi. I thought he looked decent in Colombia.

    In the end, i feel the nerves got to these guys.

    I am excited for Horvath to be on the senior team.

    Now…….the big question. Another check box marked as a failure for JK. So that’s 0/3.
    No Gold Cup, no Confeds, no Olympics. Three strikes?
    Probably not. But now is the time to pull the trigger.

    Like

    • tukmenbashy

      Its not JK’s fault that these kids can’t compete… nerves, fitness, etc. Confed cup, gold cup, 2-0 to Guat… sure, blame JK. But you can’t hang this on JK. These kids just got beat hard… they absolutely weren’t hungry.

      Like

      • wychijeff

        Not even sure it was a matter of hunger. They just were not good enough and Colombia wiped the floor with them.

        Like

      • tukmenbashy

        yeah, maybe, but when you are hungry you don’t get pushed off the ball like a rag-doll… and when you are hungry you don’t lose your mind and start stomping on people’s legs… definitely outclassed though.

        Like

    • wychijeff

      I agree that Trapp was absolutely horrific last night. Worst player on the field IMHO, which is saying something because they all played horribly. He was also our captain. Pathetic all around from the guy who was supposed to be the leader on the field.

      I agree that Horvath looks like a great prospect. He made some outstanding saves and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses over the next couple years.

      Like

    • Johnnyrazor

      Qualifying for the Olympics is much harder than qualifying for the WC. Yes, the WC is a grind as its stretched out over several years, but there is margin for error as evident by this week. In Olympic qualifying you have usually one two week 5 game tournament, if someone is injured they are out for the whole thing in WCQ if they are injured they might miss two games. One loss in OQ can keep you out of the semis or knock you out entirely as the lost to Honduras would have done in past years. Last but not least 16 teams qualify for the Olympics not 32 like the WC, that also means more teams now qualify for the European Championship than the Olympics.

      Finally no country in the world fires their national team coach because they don’t qualify for the Olympics. We didn’t fire Bruce when Landon, DBease, Beckerman, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson and the rest of 2004 guys didn’t qualify finishing 4th.

      Liked by 1 person

  • wychijeff

    1. Trapp was absolutely terrible last night. Turned the ball over in our own end multiple times. He could not seem to connect a forward pass. I’m still yet to see what makes him one of the top prospects for the US. He continually tried to play long balls over the top and when he did try to pass on the ground they went right to Colombia. I have not been impressed with a single game he has played for our youth teams.

    2. The forwards were set up to fail. They were way too spread out and when one of them got the ball, there was no one there for them to play an outlet pass to. Also, the midfield was so bunkered in our own half that they couldn’t get up field fast enough to help the forwards move the ball. This I blame on the coaches and the formation. Seemed like they expected our forwards to be able to beat 1-2 guys on the dribble and then find an outlet. It just wasn’t happening.

    3. I thought the ref was really poor. Not saying it would have drastically changed the outcome, but the calls were very lopsided. That being said, our players were often muscled off the ball fairly and then looked for the foul. Their expectation of foul calls cost us in many moments and led to the team losing their cool by the end.

    4. Hyndman and Polster were invisible. Not surprising when you try to play Hydnman as a left winger. Terrible decision by the coaches.

    5. When did it become ok for our guys to give those cheap shot foot stamps. I’ve never seen a US team play with such poor sportsmanship. We should have finished that game with 7 men. Acosta and Parker should have been off. Why did they even think that was ok? I’m almost more embarrassed about this than the end result.

    6. Did I miss something with Julian Green? I was really surprised he did not see the field in either game. Why you play Hyndman as a left winger when you have Green available is beside me. Polster should have never started, Trapp and Hyndman should have been the CMs, and Green should have played LM. Still pretty baffled by this.

    7. We continue to have real problems at outside back. Both Payne and Acosta were poor on defense. You can see their potential going forward, but defensively they got outclassed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • wychijeff

      8. We are a long ways away from producing top talent. I agree with an above poster that I don’t think any of our players would have started for the Colombia team. Really disheartening.

      Like

    • AKinDC

      The ref screwed up calls that helped both teams. Parker clearly should have been red carded for the stamp on the Colombian.

      Like

      • tukmenbashy

        yeah, the ref was bad… but it wasn’t just parker… the US could easily have ended the game playing in 7.

        Like

  • Beto

    Really wanted to see some of these great young player in the Olympics but they don’t deserve anything. Ugly poor sports, hacky coach (back austria hertzog!) and just a all around disappointing group. Wtvr the Olympics are better without them.

    Like

    • AKinDC

      If we actually had great young players, you would see them in the Olympics. As this series illustrated though, we have a bunch of decent, but not great, young players.

      Like

  • Johnnyrazor

    People tend to be deceived by our roster because there are so many with European clubs, that we should be better. However, most of the European guys aren’t playing on a regular basis at least not at a high level.

    Payne is not a regular started in Holland, but does play in the top division
    Rodriguez has played in 22 out of 29 in the German 4th division which U23 with limited overage players
    Green the same he starts most games for Bayern II in the 4th division (I read he was sick and wasn’t on the game day roster yesterday)
    Miazga hadn’t played a competitive game since November
    Horvath has been a regular starter at Molde including in the Champions League, but Norway is just two games into its new season
    Hyndman has only played in 20 matches for Fulham over 2 seasons,
    Keisewetter played in 14 of 31 for Stuttgart II in 3.Liga only scoring 1 goal for the last place team
    Cropper only recently took over a starting role with MK Dons as they fight relegation in the Championship

    Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    Now start using players of this age group with Euro or MX players for “Copa America”.

    Like

  • Ronniet

    It’s a shame, no other way to put it! This team lost its chance in the qualifying round when it lost to Honduras, which is pathetic in and of itself. There has been absolutely no progression on any level in US Soccer, and yeah i know its only been 5 years with this new regime running things but from the looks of things there has been a regression at every level in the last 2 yrs. To continue to see our defenders punt the ball up the field when there is smidgeon of pressure tells you all you need to know(mostly on the youth sides), bunkering for 3/4 of the game and continuing to get line ups wrong is bothersome. There is no way Polster should have been on the field past halftime, as he is a give away machine. Acosta stock had to have dropped after these last 2 games, he looked dazed and confused, got outmuscled most times and couldnt string togther any passes. Trapp was also guilty of wayward passes all game and along with Hydman was knocked off the ball with regularity. Rodriguez was a wasted spotin my opinion, although he did play tough defensively, but his position is STRIKER, not defender. I could go on and on but why bother, that game was a mess and doesnt exude confidence for production on the next level.

    Like

  • Marco Bastian

    Morris will continue to decline under Sigi. Steve Zakuani who had a great college career was misused and only half himself under Sigi. I was hoping everyday he’d get away from Sigi’s rigid channel running, but a horrific tackle ended his career.

    Like

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