Olympic disappointment for City striker and USA U23s
- Credit: Terry Blyfield/Crystal Palace FC
Norwich City striker Sebastian Soto was unable to help salvage Olympic qualification for the USA Under-23s overnight.
The 20-year-old was introduced in the 63rd minute with the US trailing 2-1 to Honduras in Mexico, after they had swiftly pulled a goal back through skipper Jackson Yueill after their opponents had scored either side of half-time.
However, they couldn't find an equaliser and lost the semi-final in Guadalajara, to be beaten by Honduras at the semi-final stage for the second consecutive qualification campaign.
The US finished fourth at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but haven't qualified for the Games since Beijing 2008 and won't be a part of the football tournament at the rearranged Tokyo Games later this year.
It's been a frustrating spell of national action for Canaries prospect Soto, only starting one of four games despite already having two senior caps.
He came on in the 67th minute of a 1-0 win over Costa Rica and at half-time of a 4-0 win over Dominican Republic, when the score was still 0-0.
With qualification from the group stages sealed, top spot in the group was missed after a 1-0 defeat to hosts Mexico, with Soto playing the opening hour but at fault with a wayward pass ahead of the decisive goal.
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The former Hannover forward joined Norwich last summer and initially went out on loan to Dutch second-tier side Telstar, scoring seven goals in 12 games.
He was finally able to join up properly with City in January after securing a work permit and has made three appearances at under-23 level, with head coach Daniel Farke stressing that Soto is a player for a future rather than for immediate first-team contention.
One slight upside is that the youngster now won't be in action in Japan between July 22 and August 7, so he will be able to focus on setting up his next club season properly, whether that is in pre-season with Norwich or a loan club.