By John Coon | Oct. 10, 2015, 9 p.m. (ET)
Wil Trapp reacts to the United States' 2-0 loss to Honduras during the semifinal round of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 10, 2015 in Sandy, Utah.


SANDY, Utah — Playing for third place was not part of the plan. The United States men’s soccer team has no other path to an Olympic bid now.

Honduras dealt a blow to the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team's quest to reach the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, beating Team USA 2–0 in a CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship semifinal match on Saturday. Now, the U.S. must win the third-place game on Tuesday to advance to play Colombia in a playoff for one last shot at qualifying for Rio.

The U.S. men entered the semifinal with a perfect 3-0 record in group play, scoring 13 goals and allowing only 2.

"We had our plan but we weren't able to do it in the right way,” U.S. coach Andy Herzog said. “That's the most disappointing thing.”

Honduras forward Alberth Elis scored a goal in each half to help his team lock up a spot in Rio. For Team USA, the loss has it facing elimination and in danger of missing out on a second consecutive Olympic Games. The prospect of staying home in 2016 is weighing heavily on the team's mind going into Tuesday’s do-or-die game.

Team USA will play Canada in Tuesday’s bronze-medal match. The one-game playoff against Colombia will be held in March 2016 in Rio.

“We have to win,” midfielder Wil Trapp said. “Plain and simple. That's all it takes. There's no other way. We can't read into this result anymore. It's over, disappointing as it was. We got to move forward.”

Honduras came out with more defensive intensity from the start of the match. It kept Team USA disjointed on offense for long stretches. The end result was few scoring chances, sloppy possessions and a huge win for the Hondurans.

“Without a doubt, what the players demonstrated today was enormous,” Honduras coach Carlos Tabora said. “It is very significant for our country and for them, and without a doubt very significant for all the people in our country.”

Honduras is the only nation from the North, Central American and Caribbean region to qualify for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Team USA managed just three shots on goal – one in the first half, two in the second.

“We were not able to execute our game plan,” Herzog said. “We had some ideas already of how to break the defense from Honduras down, but we were not able to do them.”

Honduras wasted no time taking advantage of the U.S. struggles.

Elis struck first in the 24th minute. Kevin Alvarez set the scoring play in motion by sending him a pass just inside the top of the 18-yard box. Elis bounced it off his chest and, with plenty of space to operate, lobbed the ball over a pair of defenders, threading it inside the left post for the score.

Team USA threatened to score the equalizer in the 63rd minute. Cameron Carter-Vickers put a header on frame off of a corner kick. Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez made a diving, one-handed deflection to deny the goal.

Elis scored the back-breaker in the 77th minute, flicking a Kevin Lopez cross inside the far post.

"We were just a little off in the attacking third and we gave up just a couple of chances,” Trapp said. “That was the difference."

Team USA entered Saturday’s match with a 2–1 all-time record in men's Olympic qualifying semifinal matches. It beat Guatemala in 2000 and Canada in 2008, while losing to Mexico in 2004.

John Coon is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.