USMNT: 7 New Year’s resolutions

GENK, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 20: Romain Gall of USA looks during Italy v USA International Friendly at Luminus Arena in Genk on November 20, 2018 in Genk, Belgium. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
GENK, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 20: Romain Gall of USA looks during Italy v USA International Friendly at Luminus Arena in Genk on November 20, 2018 in Genk, Belgium. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images) /
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Chairman of Coordination Commission Meeting Tokyo 2020 John Coates (9th from L) inspects the Yokohama Stadium, one of the venue of baseball and softball for Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture on December 3, 2018. The meeting will be held until Dec. 5th. The 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020. (Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Chairman of Coordination Commission Meeting Tokyo 2020 John Coates (9th from L) inspects the Yokohama Stadium, one of the venue of baseball and softball for Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture on December 3, 2018. The meeting will be held until Dec. 5th. The 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020. (Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

2. The U.S. Qualifies for Tokyo 2020

As if it wasn’t official before, the announcement of the location of the 2026 world cup further cemented the USMNT’s status of rebuilding. The seven years until 2026 gives young USMNT hopefuls plenty of time to develop and a huge aspect of that development is getting real tournament experience.

Many have argued that Olympic soccer is an invaluable opportunity for young national team players to build chemistry and learn how to deal with the pressures and difficulties of a real international tournament. Thus, it was a big deal for the U.S. men to miss out on the last two Olympics.

As the USMNT looks to the future, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics is a crucial goal. Costa Rica will be hosting the qualifying tournament for the 16-team competition in Tokyo. It will be interesting to see how invested Ernie Stewart and Gregg Berhalter are in putting together a solid Olympic team for the pseudo-U-23 tournament, especially with the U-23 head coaching job vacant.