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U.S. Men’s Team Ends Olympic Drought, U-20s Demolish Honduras To Qualify For Paris 2024

The wait is over! It’s been 14 years since the U.S. men’s team competed at the Olympics and that drought will end in Paris in two years because the U.S. U-20 team has qualified. The Americans defeated host Honduras 3-0 on Friday in the Concacaf U-20 Championship semifinal to secure one of the two Concacaf berths for the 2024 Olympics.

The shock underdogs Dominican Republic claimed the other Olympic spot.

A dominant first half from the Americans set the precedent for Friday's game. It was undoubtedly one of the most dominant halves in U.S. men’s soccer history, youth or senior team.

Despite the absence of attacking threat Cade Cowell, the U.S. had no trouble creating chances. The 18-year-old San Jose Earthquakes phenom received a three-game suspension after getting into a brawl with Costa Rica at the end of the quarterfinal.

USMNT U-20 vs Honduras U-20 Highlights

The game couldn’t have started better for the Americans. An early goal from a set piece for Paxten Aaronson in the third minute put the U.S. in front.

The brother of USMNT star Brenden Aaronson is carving out his own legacy with U.S. Soccer as his goal tally in the tournament is now up to five.

In the 22nd minute a clever finish from Alejandro Alvarado Jr. with his backheel snuck under the Honduras goalkeeper and doubled the lead to silence the home crowd.

The final 23 minutes of the first half was an endless stream of U.S. attacks coupled with an absurd amount of American possession. The U.S. had over 70% possession to close out the first half and made it 3-0 in the 43rd minute through a Quinn Sullivan tap in.

The tickets for Paris may as well have been booked in the locker room at halftime.

In the second half the U.S. backed off and spent more time defending. As the second half wore on Honduras grew in confidence and created several great goal scoring chances.

The American defense managed to hold firm and even had to have a goal line clearance from a Honduras corner to keep the clean sheet. When the U.S. did go forward in the second half the boys were bubbling with confidence. The number of silky touches, clever passes and filth was at critical levels.

In the 83rd minute center back Brandan Craig nearly put the cherry on top when he had a rocket free kick smack off the post.

These were the celebrations from the U.S. when the final whistle sounded to confirm a trip to the Olympics.

The U.S. will play the Dominican Republic in the final on Sunday. The Americans will have the chance to win the Concacaf U-20 Championship for a third time in a row. 

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