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U-23 USMNT to face Honduras in decisive Olympic qualifier

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If the Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team wants to end a 13-year wait and return to the Olympics, it will have to get past a nation that has been to the last three summer games.

The Americans learned on Thursday that their opponent for Sunday’s decisive Concacaf Olympic Qualifying semifinal showdown will be Honduras. The Central America side locked up the top spot in Group B with a 1-1 draw vs. Canada, pitting Los Catrachos against Group A runners-up the USMNT in a match that will have an Olympic berth on the line (Sunday, 6pm, FS1/TUDN)

Honduras heads into the evening fixture at Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico, unbeaten in this qualifying campaign at 1-0-2 (five points). The USMNT holds a better record, however, at 2-1-0 (six points).

In addition to tying Canada, the Hondurans throttled Haiti to the tune of 3-0 and played to a 1-1 stalemate with El Salvador. They will be without key defensive midfielder Kervin Arriaga on Sunday due to yellow card accumulation.

The Americans beat Costa Rica by a 1-0 mark and routed the Dominican Republic, 4-0, before suffering a 1-0 loss to Mexico on Wednesday in their group stage matches.

The USMNT has not qualified for the Olympics since 2008, which coincidentally started a streak of three consecutive appearances in the international tournament for Honduras. The Hondurans eliminated the Americans from Olympic qualifying in 2015.

The other semifinals match on Sunday that will punch a Concacaf nation’s ticket to Japan will be between Mexico and Canada.

Comments

  1. In these important meaningful games the U.S team at all levels have lost the mental strength they once had. At the U20 they showed the mental confidence and discipline. Soto messed up making a really bad pass that ended in a mexico goal. As long as the U.S. is disciplined and puts the ball in they will be on to Tokyo and possibly redemption vs Mexico in the final.

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  2. Honduras has some decent and fun players to watch, but their keeper is awful and strikers can’t finish. Without their best player (Arriaga) out due to yellows, no way they should even make this game competitive.

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    • I hope the players don’t think that way. I’m pretty sure U S players thought in a similar fashion before the game vs. T& T in the last WC qualifying round.

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      • Obviously they can’t phone it in. Just like the T&T loss, a loss would be embarrassing to this opponent. What should happen vs what actually happens is not always same…hence why they play the game. My point was, the difference in technical quality is significant.

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