The United States Men’s Olympic dream died Tuesday night as the American U23 side was again dominated by Colombia, falling 2-1 on Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas to lose the aggregate goals match by a final tally of 3-2.
The Americans also lost their heads as the game wound down and the inevitability of missing out on Rio began to sink in. Colombia’s time wasting and embellishing further riled up the home team and before the final whistle blew Luis Gil and Matt Miazga had both seen red, leaving the U.S. to finish the match with nine players going against Colombia’s 11.
It could have been eight but Tim Parker got away with stepping on an opponent, a fortunate moment America’s best defensive player over the two games.
The score(s) make the games seem close, they weren’t. On Friday, the Americans escaped with a 1-1 draw despite being completely outplayed in Colombia. On Tuesday in Texas, the Americans had a bit more of the ball but were still a poor second to Los Cafeteros, both on the night and in the series.
Coach Andi Herzog had been deployed by Jurgen Klinsmann and charged with getting this group to Rio while avoiding a second Olympic qualifier flop on Klinsmann’s watch.
In 2012, Sean Johnson’s 95h minute miscue cost the Americans passage to the London Games but this time around was less a sudden shock and more a torture of a thousand cuts.
The first slices were inflicted in October when the U.S. barely showed up for a CONCACAF Championship/WCQ, losing 2-0 to Honduras. The Yanks got by Canada in the third-place game to set this fixture with Colombia.
The feeling that the U.S. had let its best chance at the Olympics slip away in October hung over this tie, all the more so as the games played out and the evidence piled up in front of our very eyes that this Colombian team was on another, better level than the U.S.
The Americans played with plenty of passion against Colombia, which was great until it wasn’t and the red cards came out.
Klinsmann dubbed the 2012 team that missed the Olympic “A Lost Generation,” and emphasized how important it was for the development of these young players that they not miss out on the Mundial.
Instead, Miazga and Jordan Morris, Emerson Hyndman, and all the rest will miss out on the opportunity to test themselves against the top players in the world this summer in Rio.
A Lost Generation? We will have to wait and see.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
COL 1 1 2
COL – Roger Martinez (Andres Felipe Roa) 30th minute
USA – Own Goal (Deiver Machado) 58
COL – Roger Martinez (Deiver Machado) 64
USA: 1-Ethan Horvath; 2-Kellyn Acosta, 3-Matt Miazga, 4-Tim Parker, 15-Desevio Payne (10-Luis Gil, 67); 6-Will Trapp (capt.), 8-Emerson Hyndman, 11-Paul Arriola (17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 46), 13-Matt Polster; 9-Jordan Morris (19-Khiry Shelton, 62), 16-Mario Rodriguez
Subs not used: 12-Cody Cropper, 7-Dillon Serna, 18-Tyler Miller, 5-Walker Zimmerman, 12-Cody Cropper, 14-Fatai Alashe, 20-Eric Miller
Not available: Shane O’Neill, Brandon Vincent, 16-Julian Green
Head Coach: Andres Herzog
COL: 1-Cristian Bonila; 13-Helibelton Palacios, 3-Yerry Mina, 4-Deiver Machado, 5-Davinson Sanchez, 9-Harold Preciado (16-Cristian Borja, 46); 14-Wilmar Barrios, 6-Jose Leudo, 18-Andres Felipe Roa (8-Yony Gonzalez, 90+1), 10-Juan Fernando Quintero (capt.) (11-Jarlan Barrera, 85); 17-Roger Martinez, 19-Guillermo Celis
Subs not used: 12-Luis Hurtado, 15-Juan Pablo Nieto, 20-Alvaro Montero, 7-Andres Renteria, 2-Jherson Vergara
Head coach: Carlos Restrepo
Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 5 / 11
Shots on goal: 0 / 6
Saves: 4 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 19
Offside: 0 / 2
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution) 21st minute
COL – Deiver Machado (caution) 22
COL – Guillermo Celis (caution) 45
USA – Tim Parker (caution) 52
USA – Matt Polster (caution) 58
USA – Luis Gil (caution) 72
USA – Luis Gil (sent off) 77
COL – Cristian Bonila (caution) 82
COL – Jarlan Barrera (caution) 88
COL – Wilmar Barrios (caution) 88
USA – Matt Miazga (sent off) 90