Well, maybe not.
Due to a 3-3 tie with El Salvador in Olympic qualifying competition, the United States U-23 men’s soccer team failed to qualify for this summer’s London Olympics and will not compete.
The US team needed a victory against the Salvadorians tonight to move on in the Olympic qualifying tournament and keep their hopes alive to be able to compete in London. Canada and El Salvador move on to the tournament’s semi-final round and push the U.S. to third in the group, making them unable to continue in qualifying.
While this is the U-23 team and not the Men’s Senior National Team, it’s still a disappointing result for a program that wants to build an international presence and convince other countries they are a force to be reckoned with. Making things even tougher to swallow is the fact that Canada will qualify, along with Mexico, as the two North American representatives in London.
A stoppage time goal is always a frustrating end, and it appeared with a 3-2 lead with almost no time left the Americans would pull one out and move on into the semi-finals and a step closer to being able to compete this summer.
It’s definitely a huge step back for a program which enjoyed a huge win over Italy in a friendly earlier this year and looked to build upon that momentum to earn more interest as the summer sports season nears.
As it’s always been with American soccer, it’s one step forward, and two steps back.