Mikey Varas: “We told them that we follow them into any battle.” (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

In the sports world, hyperbole many times will rule the day.

This team did something great. This player did something fabulous.

Then came the U.S. men’s historic 3-0 victory over host Honduras, which clinched its first Olympic soccer berth since 2008 at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship in San Pedro Sula.

“The boys did something incredible for their country today,” U.S. head coach Mikey Varas said.

Now, that wasn’t hyperbole

Those “boys” broke a three-cycle skid in which the men’s team failed to reach the Olympics. Yes, Paris 2024 is still two years away, but the Americans certainly can bask in their achievement.

The USA were unstoppable from the opening whistle, taking control of the match, scoring early and rolling to a three-goal halftime advantage.

“I think that the boys take ownership of the game, the voice of ownership of their story as a team,” Varas said. “It’s a big message that we’ve been trying to drive into them that the coaching staff is not the protagonist in this situation they are. Our job is to set conditions for them to be successful. They’re the ones who have to grab the moment and they did. We told them that we follow them into any battle.”

The Americans weren’t just battling their rivals on the field. Estadio Morazan was packed with Honduran fans cheering for the home side.

Varas said his message to the team “was to confront this moment with our with our heads up high, to be brave, to be relentless and to be together and everything that we do and ups and downs.”

Which the U.S. did and then some.

“I think many teams in that same situation wouldn’t continue to try to find solutions with the ball,” Varas said. “These guys were incredible. But first half is something that I’ll remember.”

The U.S. will meet the Dominican Republic in the final on Sunday (FS1) at 8 p.m. ET.

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