U.S. men’s soccer reaches first Olympics since 2008 with U-20 victory


The four CONCACAF quarter-final winners also qualified for the 24-nation group at next year’s Under-20 World Cup.

USA players celebrate after winning their Concacaf U-20 World Cup semi-final against Honduras. Orlando Sierra/AFP via Getty Images

The United States qualified for its first men’s Olympic soccer tournament since 2008 when the Americans beat Honduras 3-0 in San Pedro Sula on Friday night in the semifinals of the North American Under-20 Championship and Central and Caribbean.

Philadelphia Union’s Paxten Aaronson, an 18-year-old brother of Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson, scored in the third minute.

Alejandro Alvarado, who made four appearances last season for Portugal’s Vizela, added a goal in the 23rd, and Aaronson’s Philadelphia teammate Quinn Sullivan scored in the 43rd as the United States secured a place in the field of 16 nations at the 2024 Olympic tournament in France.

Olympic men’s soccer is restricted to players under the age of 23, with each nation allowed three wild cards over the limit. After the United States failed in three consecutive qualifying rounds, with many clubs refusing to release top players, CONCACAF amended the qualifications of under-23 teams and included them in its U23 championship. under 20 years old.

The United States were knocked out of the 2012 Olympic qualifier when Sean Johnson allowed Jaime Alas’ second-half goal to slip away, giving El Salvador a 3-3 draw in the group stage final of the United Nations. Americans.

The Americans lost a 2016 Olympics qualifier to El Salvador 2-0, then were beaten 3-2 by Colombia in a home-and-away game for another berth.

The United States lost to Honduras 2-1 in last year’s Olympic qualifier as goalkeeper David Ochoa offered a goal by kicking a ball over an opponent and into his own net.

The Dominican Republic also clinched a spot by beating Guatemala 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

The four winners of the CONCACAF quarter-finals also qualified for the group of 24 nations at next year’s Under-20 World Cup, which will be played from May 20 to June 11 in Indonesia.


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