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U.S. U-23s knock off Canada, book Olympic playoff with Colombia


Photo by Chris Nicoll/USA TODAY Sports


The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team’s Olympic hopes remain alive.

Led by second-half finishes from Marc Pelosi and Jerome Kiesewetter, the U.S. slipped past 10-man Canada, 2-0, Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium to claim third place in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.

With the victory, the U.S. books a playoff clash with Colombia, which booked its spot with a second place finish at the 2015 South American Youth Football Championship. Contrary to initial reports that had the U.S. facing Colombia in a single match in Brazil, reports on Tuesday stated the U.S. will face Colombia in a home-and-away series during the international window in March of 2016.

Pelosi’s winner came on the heels of a set piece as a corner kick into the box was cleared to the top of the box. The U.S. midfielder was there to collect the loose ball before rocketing a shot that deflected off a Canada defender and into the back of the net to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.The U.S. lead was doubled in the 84th minute via a Kiesewetter penalty kick. After being b rought down in the box by Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, Kiesewetter stepped up and smashed his spot kick into the back of the net to all but seal advancement to the playoff round.

Just moments before halftime, the U.S. was handed a major advantage as Canada’s Giuliano Frano was dismissed for a second yellow card. After getting beat by Jordan Morris on the left side, Frano fell on top of the loose ball just outside the box, drawing his second caution for a handball.

The U.S. finally took full advantage in the second half, as the two finishes proved to be enough for the U.S. to book a March date with Colombia for a second chance at clinching an Olympic berth.


  1. So many have suggested bringing in additional players for Colombia that were not originally on the CONCACAF qualifying roster. Yedlin, Brooks, etc.

    Question: are we limited to only use players that were selected for the tournament?

  2. Whew, finally some good news. So for the game(s) against Colombia, how about this:

    Morris – Rubin

    Ariyibi Keiswetter

    Hyndman Trapp

    Pelosi Miazga J.A.B. Yedlin

    BOOM! I dig it.

    • Ugh, that didn’t paste right. Anyway, tons of speed on the outside with Ariyibi and Keiswetter, skill and speed up top with Morris and Rubin, NO ONE playing in the hole (sorry, Zelalem and Gill…you’re not cutting it, yet), and a pretty damn good back line.

  3. What is the deal with Morris, I cant understand how he can continue to play college ball after having so much success with the USMNT set up. Is he waiting for the best suitor? It seems such a waist to have one of our best prospects continue to play college ball.

  4. “Reports on Tuesday stated the U.S. will face Colombia in a home-and-away series during the international window in March of 2016”

    This is good news! Columbus Ohio?

    • This also means we could see Rubio Rubin, Shane O’Neil, JAB, Yedlin ect with the U-23s. Senior team taking on Guatemala during that window.

      • This better happen. The US needs to finish top 2 in its group, and the first 2 games are against St. Vincent and Trinidad. The U-23s should get all players who are eligible for this game, including Wood.

      • i just looked, had no idea we play Guate twice in that window. one at home, the other away. how strange is that? i have to say, i don’t see JK letting Yedlin or JAB into the U-23 camp. we will need to beat Guate at least once, if not twice, to put ourselves in a good spot…even if we beat T&T and St. Vincent.

  5. I never doubt our boys would lose to Canada even with Herzog pulling the wrong strings most of the tournament. It is like if JK is coaching this team too.
    There is good reinforcement for this group but the major issue is who is the coach going to be. If Herzog still going to be it, then we will lose no matter what additional players we bring in.

  6. Well, it’s good to see that Pelosi scored. He was one of most promising youth players while at Liverpool, until he had a terribly broken leg. I didn’t think he looked very good in the Toulon Tournament, but he has been getting a lot of minutes since he joined San Jose. It would be nice if he could reach his potential now that he is getting to play somewhat regularly. I have also liked what I’ve seen of Will Trapp. Add Lletget to some in this group and we may find some decent national team players. God knows we need them. Now if only Morris would turn pro.

    • the question is, because we have WCQs during the same window, including a game in Guate, will JK really let JAB and Yedlin go with the U-23s? i’m not so sure.

    • The only way, the only way way this team was gonna win tonight is if Canada had a player sent off. Colombia in Brazil, no will do.

      • Maybe a little over the top. Getting a win against Canada wasn’t guaranteed but still far above 50-50. Now, against Colombia…? Anyone seen their team play?

      • El C.

        Sure. You didn’t see the game did you?

        The US dominated the first half outshooting them 13-2 before the red card.

        And the game vs Colombia is now a two game home and away.

      • Once again showing your ignorance. The US already beat Canada soundly in the group stage when Canada had 11 players the whole game.

    • Yes JK and his staff gets credit. They get credit for this team not qualifying for the Olympics yet. Maybe they’ll beat Colombia but they shouldn’t have to. Losing to Mexico is one thing but losing at home to Honduras is quite another.

      Can’t believe after yet another abject performance for the senior side, JK fanboys are still grasping for anything. “Whoa, we beat Canada U-23s! JK is doing awesome job, we’ve never been able to beat giants like Canada before! US soccer has never been stronger!”

      • Grasping is what you are doing slowleftarm.

        You know as well as anyone that short of losing the next round of qualifiers JK isn’t going anywhere.

        And if you think all this hysteria and pressure after the lost weekend is going to bother JK , it was worse when he managed Germany.
        And now the Under 23’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics are suddenly brighter because instead of a one game knockout in Rio the format has been changed to a two game home and away.

        So the US’ Olympic chances are far from dead. And ultimately that may be more vital for the future of the USMNT than the Confed Cup.

        Which is good for the program.

      • slow…how did you possibly get that out of what he said? i have literally seen NO ONE saying that.

        also, Honduras beat our U-23s in the Toulon Tournament too. give them credit. i’m not saying it’s acceptable or that i think the direction of the program is currently looking good, but look at the whole picture and certainly don’t make up statements that were never made…

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