This is it. It all comes down to two matches for the United States under-23 national team in their bid to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A home-and-home two-legged playoff begins tonight with the first leg away from home in Barranquilla, Colombia.
An eight year absence from the Olympics can be made up for with a victory in this playoff, however a loss would stretch that drought to over a decade. It's debatable how big of a competition the Olympic soccer tournament is on the men's side, but to miss it for 12 years would be rather embarrassing. It's up to Andi Herzog's team to prevail and clinch a berth into the tournament for this country.
In a surprising move, Herzog opts to play with a narrow midfield against Colombia, leaving wide players such as Jerome Kiesewetter, Julian Green, and Paul Arriola on the bench. Four central midfielders will be deployed in hopes of maintain possession and clogging the middle of the field.
Jordan Morris unsurprisingly start up top, while Mario Rodriguez is picked as his strike partner it what appears to be a 4-4-2 diamond formation.
The match kicks off at 5:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and Univision Deportes.
United States U-23 Lineup: Ethan Horvath; Eric Miller, Matt Miazga, Tim Parker, Kellyn Acosta; Matt Polster, Wil Trapp, Emerson Hyndman, Luis Gil; Mario Rodriguez, Jordan Morris