U.S. failure to make Olympics ‘a tragedy’ – Kreis

United States coach Jason Kreis has admitted that his squad are “devastated” not to be going to the Olympics after losing 2-1 to Honduras in CONCACAF qualifying in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday.

Los Catrachos punched their ticket to Tokyo via goals from Juan Carlos Obregon and Luis Palma, ensuring that the U.S. men will miss a third successive Olympic tournament.

“Obviously, we’re devastated, absolutely devastated,” Kreis said after the match. “In our locker room, the guys are like it’s a tragedy — a tragedy.

“We lose an opportunity to play in an international tournament with more pressure, where these players have to be in these environments and continue to improve with that pressure.

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“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 really — you 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 preseasons and at the beginning of MLS seasons it’s typical.”

Kreis says he had seen similar from his team during the group stage.

“I think the first half looked a lot like the Dominican Republic first half,” Kreis said. “We have players that aren’t moving. We have people on the ball that aren’t committing defenders to make decisions, to open up spaces. We have guys that look like they’re just don’t really want the ball, and so it just kind of goes back to a mostly mentality for me.”

Mexico and Canada are playing in Sunday’s second semifinal to determine the other team that represents North and Central America and the Caribbean at the July 23-Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics.

As both semifinal winners qualify for the Olympics, the final qualification game is essentially an exhibition match.

Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.