The U.S. men’s national soccer team committed two errors Sunday in a match against Honduras and cost the Americans a spot in the Olympics for the third straight time.
Honduras’ Juan Carlos Obregon scored in stoppage time in stoppage time and a bad blunder from goalkeeper David Ochoa early in the second half led to the U.S.’ demise. Honduras won the match 2-1 and eliminated the U.S. team from Olympic contention.
“Obviously, we’re devastated, absolutely devastated,” U.S. manager Jason Kreis said afterward. “In our locker room, the guys are like it’s a tragedy — a tragedy.”
He added: “We lose an opportunity to play in an international tournament with more pressure, where these players have to be in these environments and continue to improve with that pressure.”
The team faced scrutiny on social media immediately after the loss.
The U.S. men’s team has not been in the Olympics since 2008, when they finished ninth and did not make it out of the group stage. The team finished in fourth place in 2000. The team also missed the 2018 World Cup.
Olympic men’s soccer is limited to players born in 1997 and later and clubs don’t have to release players whereas the women’s team is open to senior national teams. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Sergiño Dest, Chris Richards and Antonee Robinson were among the players not on the qualifying team.
Kreis one way to improve would be to get the players who are in the middle of their European seasons.
“The only solution I would say there is that if you can get the European players that are midseason then perhaps you’re in better shape, but we all know the difficulties of that, as well,” he said
The U.S. is set to host the Olympics in 2028 and will qualify automatically.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.