Men's Soccer at the Olympics is a bit of an afterthought. There are no illusions that it represents the world's best players and aside from a few exception, there aren't really any recognizable names. Few, if any, countries look at the result as anything like a referendum on the sport.
But none of that really matters to the players who get to compete. Just like all the other athletes who participate, they get to hang out in the Olympic village, participate in the opening ceremonies and compete for a chance to win a very real medal.
From a purely soccer standpoint, Jordan Morris will have opportunities to achieve bigger and better things. Right now, that doesn't matter.
"To be one game away from the Olympics and to come up short is pretty tough to swallow," Morris said at Thursday's training session. "It’s just frustrating to have that opportunity and miss out.
"It’s something you dream about and grow up watching and to come up short is pretty tough. I think it’s going to be tough for awhile to deal with that. But you obviously have to move on and we have a game this weekend."
Surely also contributing to Morris' feelings is that he was unable to do much to change the United States' fortunes. Over two legs against Colombia, Morris had precious few opportunities to do much and was mostly an afterthought as he and his teammates struggled to build any kind of sustained attack. Morris' best look on goal came on more of a broken play when he was able to run onto a loose ball that he struck first-time from about 24 yards that caromed off the crossbar.
In the second leg, Morris had even more trouble finding the game and was eventually removed after just 62 minutes without a single shot.
United States coach Andi Herzog seemed to imply Morris had some particular problems asserting himself, although it should be said that the midfield didn't exactly do much to help.
"When a team played real physical against us, we didn't have any power, any assertiveness up front," Herzog said, according to The Associated Press. "That's disappointing."
As frustrating of an experience as it may have been, the one positive could be that he will have one less thing to worry about this summer. Morris said he's not yet been given any indication whether or not he'll be included in the Copa America team.
"It’s a hard loss, we’ll deal with that," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "I told him just go through practice today light, and we’ll talk a little bit more tomorrow.
"I think it’s a situation where the pressure is off a little bit with that qualification series being over and he can focus on just playing."