By Karen Price | Sept. 09, 2019, 10:37 p.m. (ET)
The U.S. men's U-23 soccer team poses for a photo on Sept. 9, 2019 in Chula Vista, Calif.

 

The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Soccer Team is continuing its push toward qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and that process drew a bit closer with a 2-0 victory over Japan’s Olympic team on Monday night in Chula Vista, California.

The friendly came at the end of a training camp in which Under-23 men’s coach Jason Kreis had a chance to get a closer look at the players who could participate in the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will take place March 20-April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. men’s team is on the hunt to make the Olympic tournament for the first time since 2008, and is seeking its first medal since the second-ever Olympic tournament in 1904.

A roster of 25 players took part in 10 training and workout sessions over the last week, culminating in Monday’s friendly against Japan, which was not open to the public.

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Mason Toye scored the first goal of the first half, taking a pass from Brenden Aaronson that split two defenders to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. The U.S. made it 2-0 in the 64th minute after Sebastian Soto drew a penalty kick and Brooks Lennon buried it down the middle for a 2-0 lead. Lennon and Toye are two of 19 players who are part of MLS rosters that took part in the camp.

In addition to the players in training camp, Team USA could call in several players who will be under the 23-year-old cutoff but are currently with the men’s senior team such as Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent. Olympic teams also are allowed three overage players at the Games.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.