The USA U-23s have finally arrived at the absolute end of their 2016 Olympic qualifying road: this is do-or-die time; win or
go stay home.
Played off the field by most metrics in the first leg of this series, the young Americans weathered a heavy storm in Colombia to claim a not-insignificant prize: the edge provided by the away goal in a 1-1 scoreline. More significantly, perhaps, the USA did not lose; so this second leg becomes a potentially straightforward, winner-takes-all encounter. Home advantage should help the US to do a better job of challenging their Colombian counterparts: there are reasons to be optimistic about the Americans' chances of winning through to Rio.
The primary reason for pessimism is the fact Colombia looked a much more accomplished team in the first leg. But that was then and this is now. The Colombians didn't take the chances they created to secure the advantage their play deserved, and now they will face a US team that knows it only has to win one game on home soil to achieve its goal of Olympic qualification.
USA U-23s vs Colombia U-23s
When: 9:30 pm, Eastern; March 29, 2016
Where: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas, USA
TV: ESPN 2