U.S. qualifies for 1st Olympic men’s soccer tournament since 2008

Jul 2, 2022, 8:17 AM
Marcus Ferkranus (L) of the USA vies for the ball with Marco Aceituno (R) of Honduras, during their...
Marcus Ferkranus (L) of the USA vies for the ball with Marco Aceituno (R) of Honduras, during their Concacaf U-20 World Cup semifinal football match at the General Francisco Morazan stadium in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on July 1, 2022. (Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States qualified for its first Olympic men’s soccer tournament since 2008 when the Americans beat Honduras 3-0 at San Pedro Sula on Friday night in the semifinals of the Under-20 championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Paxten Aaronson of the Philadelphia Union, an 18-year-old brother of Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson, scored in the third minute.

Alejandro Alvarado, who made four appearances last season for Portugal’s Vizela, added a goal in the 23rd, and Quinn Sullivan, Aaronson’s Philadelphia teammate, scored in the 43rd as the U.S. earned a berth in the 16-nation field at the 2024 Olympic tournament in France.

Olympic men’s soccer is limited to players under 23, with each nation allowed three wild cards over the limit. After the U.S. failed in three straight qualifying cycles as many clubs refused to make top players available, CONCACAF altered qualifying from under-23 teams and included it as part of its under-20 championship.

The U.S. was eliminated from 2012 Olympic qualifying when Sean Johnson allowed Jaime Alas’ goal to go in off his hands in second-half stoppage time, giving El Salvador a 3-3 draw in the Americans’ group stage finale.

The Americans lost a 2016 Olympics qualification game to El Salvador 2-0, then were beaten 3-2 by Colombia in a two-leg playoff for another berth.

The U.S. lost to Honduras 2-1 in last year’s Olympic qualification game as goalkeeper David Ochoa gifted a goal when he chipped a ball off an opponent and into his own net.

The Dominican Republic also clinched a berth, defeating Guatemala 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw.

CONCACAF’s four quarterfinal winners also qualified for the 24-nation field at next year’s Under-20 World Cup, to be played from May 20 to June 11 in Indonesia.

General News

The Miami Hurricanes hoist the trophy after defeating the Texas Longhorns 88-81 in the Elite Eight ...
Associated Press

Final Four matchups set with 3 newcomers after Miami, San Diego State wins Sunday

Florida Atlantic, San Diego State and Miami will be making their first appearances at college basketball's grand finale.
4 days ago
Shohei Ohtani #16 of Team Japan reacts after the final out of the World Baseball Classic Championsh...
Associated Press

Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout for final out, Japan bests U.S. in WBC

Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out of the World Baseball Classic.
9 days ago
(Photo via U.S. Soccer)...
Arizona Sports

U.S., Mexico soccer face off in Arizona for inaugural Allstate Continental Clásico

The U.S. men's soccer team will play Mexico in an exhibition at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on April 19.
16 days ago
Mike Trout Canada vs USA WBC (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Associated Press

U.S. bounces back, routs Canada in World Baseball Classic at Chase Field

Mike Trout hit a three-run homer, Lance Lynn threw five impressive innings and the United States used a nine-run first to cruise.
16 days ago
William Byron, left, leads Kyle Larson early during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Race...
Associated Press

William Byron wins NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway

William Byron won his second straight Cup race by beating out his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in overtime on Sunday.
18 days ago
The Grand Canyon Lopes mascot Thunder the Antelope performs during a semifinal game of the Western ...
Arizona Sports

GCU basketball wins WAC Tournament final, reaches 2nd NCAA Tournament

Grand Canyon basketball defeated Sothern Utah 84-66 in the WAC Tournament final to reach its second NCAA Tournament.
18 days ago
U.S. qualifies for 1st Olympic men’s soccer tournament since 2008