What's this again?
We went over this on Friday, here is the article. But the tl:dr is this is the return leg of a home and away series against Colombia for the last spot in the Men's Olympic Soccer Tournament in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
What's the score?
1-1. The Americans got an early goal and bunkered up. The game was in Barranquilla, Colombia in 90 degree heat with significant humidity. Over the last 15 minutes in particular the USA was extremely tired and held on to the draw, barely.
Quick turnaround from Friday in Colombia do we expect a lot of squad rotation?
Not really, they are all professionals 23 years old or younger. These kids tend to recover much faster.
So we picked a young squad for this game anticipating the quick turnaround?
Well no. The Men's Olympic Soccer Tournament is for U-23 teams. The Women's Olympic Tournament is not restricted and a full team event.
Why is the Men's Olympic tournament U-23?
This is just one of those soccer things that is done that way because it has always been done that way. The Olympics are not on the FIFA calendar, so it would be difficult for every nation to get a full squad especially with the European Championships on the same 4 year schedule and this year's Copa America Centenario as well. However when the tournament starts teams are allowed to select three overage players for their final squad.
Three overage players? That seems strange.
Yes it does. It is also why 24 year old Neymar is considering playing in this summer's Olympics. The last time the US partook in the tournament was 2008 in Bejing. Micheal Parkhurst, Brian McBride and Brad Guzan were the overaged players.
So the Olympics are kind of a minor tournament?
Not necessarily. While the Olympics does not carry the prestige of a World Cup, it is a still a big deal. Brazil takes this tournament very seriously and laments the fact that they have never won an Olympic Soccer Gold Medal. Europe in general does not take this as seriously as the rest of the world. UEFA only has 4 of the 16 qualifying spots, compared to the World Cup where Europe gets 13 of 32 spots. England does not enter the Olympics (well unless they are the host like in 2012) as they compete in the Olympics as Great Britain but in FIFA as England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Did the USA make any changes to it's roster since Friday?
Nope. 17 year old Christian Pulisic was called up by the full USMNT for the game in Columbus. It was thought he might be called to Frisco.
Who is on the team?
We went over that on Friday, here's the link again. Jordan Morris is expected to start. Luis Gil scored the lone US goal and Wil Trapp is the captain.
How strong of a home crowd is expected in Frisco?
That's a good question and one that is hard to answer. But you have to give some credit to US Soccer. Ticket sales must have been lacking and it was announced on Monday that General Admission tickets (the entire stadium except three sections) are now $10. In addition if you had already purchased the tickets for the previous price of $20, they will refund the difference.
Is this on some weird TV channel I don't get?
Nope, it's on ESPN2. In fact ESPN is showing both the USMNT and the Olympic Qualifier in a 4.5 hour block of soccer programming that could determine the fate of US Soccer over the next two years. Bob Ley and Kasey Keller anchor the studio coverage of both games.
Are away goals still a thing?
Yes. Away goals are the first tiebreaker.
How to Watch:
US U-23 v Colombia U-23
Tuesday, 6:30 PM
Location: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno on the call.
This is your Sounder at Heart Olympic Qualifying Playoff Gamethread, watch with us.