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USMNT misses out on Olympics for third straight time

USMNT, Olympics

The United States Men’s National Team has failed to qualify for the Olympics for a third straight time, following their defeat by Honduras Sunday afternoon. Not only has the squad not made a return trip to the Summer Games since their appearance in 2008, but the USMNT has not participated in a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup.

For a team that is historically more sizzle than steak, the elimination by Honduras is one more disappointment for U.S. Soccer.

The victory by the Honduras National Team not only elevates the squad to the finals of the CONCACAF tournament–where they will await the winner of the match between Mexico and Canada Sunday evening–but marks the second time the country has eliminated the Americans from Olympic consideration following a similar victory four years ago.

While the U.S. National team will take heart in their ability to control much of the field and limit their opponents to long-range shots, the failure to qualify for the international event is undeniably a missed opportunity to grow a fanbase for the squad regardless of the internal development.

Paced by rising stars such as Christian Pulisic, many observers have argued that the success of the men’s team on the national stage could prompt growth in fan interest in a country that is notoriously blase about the sport. Even if the Olympics take a backseat to the importance placed on the World Cup, the Americans’ absence from the event means that it will be at least another year before viewers watch the squad in such high-profile matches.

Once again, the U.S. Women’s National Team will be looked upon to succeed where the men have failed.