U.S. men's soccer to miss second straight Olympics
The 2016 Rio Olympic men's soccer field of 16 nations is set. One nation that is not included in the field is the United States.
Following a third place finish at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in October, the U.S. was forced to play Colombia in a two-game series in March to determine the final Olympic berth.
After earning a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the playoff in Colombia, the U.S. needed a 0-0 result to get to Rio. The team was unable to do so, losing the second leg 2-1, and falling to Colombia 3-2 on aggregate.
The U.S. men will miss back-to-back Olympics for the first time since the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. The U.S. boycotted the 1980 Games in Moscow.
The team's absence in 2016 marks the third time out of the last four Olympics that the U.S. does not have a men's soccer team in the field. The U.S. missed out on the 2004 and 2012 Games as well.
Although the U.S. had an opportunity to qualify from the last-chance playoff against Colombia, the key moment in the team's attempt to qualify was the CONCACAF tournament.
In the semifinal against Honduras, when a win would have qualified the team for Rio, the U.S. lost 2-0. Prior to the semifinal, the U.S. had a goal differential of 11 from their first three matches of the tournament and were considered one of the favorites to win the tournament.
It is the second straight generation of U.S. players to miss out on the valuable development the Olympics offer as a U-23 tournament. Young players, including Matt Miazga, Jordan Morris and Emerson Hyndman, will not have that experience as they look to rise to the senior national team in the coming years for future international tournaments.