U.S. men’s soccer roster named for Olympic qualifying

Getty Images
0 Comments

The U.S. Olympic men’s soccer qualifying roster, bidding to earn the program’s first Olympic berth since 2008, includes 15 players from MLS franchises.

The team of 20 is restricted to players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997. Furthermore, clubs are not required to release players for youth tournaments such as Olympic qualifying. Plus, the U.S. senior national team has matches coinciding with the Olympic qualifying tournament that runs March 20-April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

That meant the U.S.’ biggest star, Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, was never likely to be named to the Olympic qualifying roster, even though he is age eligible. Pulisic’s name was not on a 50-player provisional roster announced two weeks ago, nor the roster announced Sunday night.

The team does include 10 players with senior national team experience set to play for coach Jason Kreis.

Similar to U.S. women’s Olympic qualifying, the men must win a March 30 CONCACAF tournament semifinal to get to Tokyo.

The U.S. must finish first or second in its group against CONCACAF power Mexico, Costa Rica (which usually qualifies for the World Cup but hasn’t been to an Olympics since 2004) and the Dominican Republic.

If it advances, the U.S. would likely play Honduras or Canada in a winner-to-Tokyo semifinal. If the U.S. qualifies, its Olympic roster must be 18 players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, with three over-age exceptions allowed.

The U.S. failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic tournaments, marking its first back-to-back Olympic absences since 1964 and 1968 (not counting the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games).

Goalkeepers
Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union)
J.T. Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)
Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake)
Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven)
Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake)
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union)
Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien)

Midfielders
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union)
Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United)
Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven)
Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas)
Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)

Forwards
Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers)
Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids)
Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg)
Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas)

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Viral Olympic moments of 2010s decade

Saudi Arabia to host 2029 Asian Winter Games

Olympic Council of Asia
Getty
0 Comments

Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 in mountains near the $500 billion futuristic city project Neom.

The Olympic Council of Asia on Tuesday picked the Saudi candidacy that centers on Trojena that is planned to be a year-round ski resort by 2026.

“The deserts & mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for Winter sports!” the OCA said in a statement announcing its decision.

Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said the kingdom’s winter sports project “challenges perception” in a presentation of the plan to OCA members.

“Trojena is the future of mountain living,” the minister said of a region described as an area of about 60 square kilometers at altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,600 meters.

The Neom megaproject is being fund by the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Arabia also will host the Asian Games in 2034 in Riyadh as part of aggressive moves to build a sports hosting portfolio and help diversify the economy from reliance on oil.

A campaign to host soccer’s 2030 World Cup is expected with an unprecedented three-continent bid including Egypt and Greece.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Jim Redmond, who helped son Derek finish 1992 Olympic race, dies

0 Comments

Jim Redmond, who helped his injured son, Derek, finish his 1992 Olympic 400m semifinal, died at age 81 on Sunday, according to the British Olympic Association, citing family members.

At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Derek pulled his right hamstring 15 seconds into his 400m semifinal, falling to the track in anguish.

He brushed off help from officials, got up and began limping around the track. About 120 meters from the finish line, he felt the presence of an uncredentialed man who rushed down the stadium stairs, dodged officials and said, “We started this together, and we’re going to finish this together,” according to Olympedia.org.

“As I turned into the home straight, I could sense this person was about to try and stop me,” Derek said in an NBC Olympics profile interview before the 2012 London Games. “I was just about to get ready to sort of fend them off, and then I heard a familiar voice of my dad. He said, ‘Derek, it’s me. You don’t need to do this.'”

Derek said he shouted to his dad that he wanted to finish the race.

“He was sort of saying things like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove. You’re a champion. You’ll come back. You’re one of the best guys in the world. You’re a true champion. You’ve got heart. You’re going to get over this. We’ll conquer the world together,'” Derek remembered. “I’m just sort of saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.'”

At one point, Derek noticed stadium security, not knowing who Jim was, having removed guns from their holsters.

“It’s the only time I’ve ever heard my dad use bad language,” Derek said. “He just goes, ‘Leave him alone, I’m his father.'”

Derek told himself in that moment, “I’m going to finish this race if it’s the last race I ever run.” It turned out to be the last 400m race of his career, after surgery and 18 months of rehab were not enough to yield a competitive comeback, according to Sports Illustrated.

Derek had missed the 1988 Seoul Games after tearing an Achilles, reportedly while warming up for his opening race. He looked strong in Barcelona, winning his first-round heat and quarterfinal.

“I’d rather be seen to be coming last in the semifinal than not finish in the semifinal,” he said, “because at least I can say I gave it my best.”