USMNT Under-23 head coach describes missing out on Olympics as 'a tragedy'

Mitchell Wilks
Mar 30, 2021, 2:45 PM GMT+1
The men's US Olympic team has failed again
The men's US Olympic team has failed again | Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

USA Under-23 soccer head coach Jason Kreis has admitted he is 'devastated' after his side failed to qualify for the Olympics for a third successive games.

The side for the Olympics, which is actually the USMNT's Under-23s, lost 2-1 to Honduras on Sunday in the semi-final of Olympic qualifying, continuing a torrid run of failing to make the tournament.

The USA conceded either side of half-time to find themselves 2-0 down after 47 minutes. Jackson Yueill pulled one back after 52 minutes, but it wasn't enough to salvage the game and save the side from more disappointment.

Speaking after the match, as quoted by The Guardian, head coach Jason Kreis admitted the side were 'absolutely devastated' with the result.

"In our locker room, the guys are, it’s like a tragedy - a tragedy," he claimed.

"We weren’t good enough to get it done, because I do believe we had enough quality in our team, we had enough ability in our team."

Jason Kreis
Jason Kreis was disappointed with his side | Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Kreis struggled for words to explain his side's pitfalls, adding: “I don’t know that if I’ve ever seen a game where we’ve had players mis-control the ball so much by going under people’s feet, passing out of bounds.

"These are things that are just just really kind of scratch your head, you think of what’s going on here? But I also have been around the game enough in our country at a pro level to tell you this is what you see in pre-seasons and at the beginning of MLS seasons it’s typical.”

He admitted that he had seen such a weakness in mentality within the group stages and ultimately conceded he 'didn't think it was quite enough'.

The result means Honduras' Under-23s advance to the final to play Mexico, with both sides safe in the knowledge that they have booked their place in Tokyo in July. The result is a disappointment for the USMNT, who have only qualified for the games in one of five attempts.

José Pinto, Jesús Ferreira
The USA were wasteful and lacked focus | Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

But while the men's team has failed again, the USA will still be represented in soccer by the women's team, who head into the games having won their fourth and most recent World Cup in 2019.

The USWNT are also four-time Olympic champions, having last won gold at the 2012 event in London.