While much of the attention on Sunday will fall on the senior U.S. men's national team against Northern Ireland, one of the most consequential matches on the USMNT calendar will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the U-23 side faces a do-or-die match to clinch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Not including standouts Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Matthew Hoppe and Timothy Weah, seventeen members of this week's USMNT senior camp meet the age requirement (born on/after Jan. 1, 1997) to play in the summer Olympics. But a completely different set of mostly U.S.-based players holds the key to Tokyo.
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Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FS1, TUDN
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Standing in the way of a trip to Tokyo is Honduras, a nation that has qualified for the last three summer Olympics and just missed the podium by finishing fourth in 2016. Honduras has been less than impressive in this month's Concacaf Olympic qualifying; Los Catrachos drew against Canada and El Salvador and their only win came against a Haiti side that fielded 10 players to start the match due to COVID-19 protocols.
After winning the first two games against Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic and qualifying for the semifinals, the U.S. is coming off a 1–0 loss to Mexico, who will face Canada in the other qualifier,
Jason Kreis's side will have to face the pressure of knowing it is 90 minutes away from becoming the first U.S. team to qualify for the Olympics since 2008 in what is truly a momentous occasion for the future of U.S. men's soccer.
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