US men’s soccer qualifies for the Olympics for the first time since 2008
US men’s soccer is back at the World Cup and now it’s back at the Olympics.
The US men secured their ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics with a 3-0 win over Honduras in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF U20 championship on Friday. It’s the first time the team has qualified for an Olympics since 2008, when they failed to make the group stage match in Beijing.
The American men came into play early with a third-minute goal from Philadelphia Union midfielder Paxten Aaronson. They soon scored two more goals from Alejandro Alvarado and Quinn Sullivan in the first half and never looked back.
The USA take on the Dominican Republic in the U20 final in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Sunday.
Qualifying for the Olympics isn’t as big a deal as the World Cup, but it certainly helps reinforce the idea that the US men are finally heading in the right direction.
In past qualifying cycles for the 16-team Olympic field, USA have dropped points in humiliating ways, including an eliminating goal by the hands of a keeper about a minute from time in 2012 and David Ochoa’s infamous howler last year.
There was no such drama this year, and now the team is traveling to Paris. Men’s Olympic football is a different beast than most international competitions, as squads are restricted to players under the age of 23 and each country has three players over the maximum age.