When the United States begins its Olympic qualifying campaign in Guadalajara, Mexico next month, former Real Salt Lake man Sebastian Saucedo is hopeful that he'll be on the roster.
Goal.com's Jon Arnold dropped a story on Thursday, in which Saucedo revealed that his strong start with his current club, Liga MX side Pumas UNAM, had earned him a call-up to the USMNT for its friendly against Costa Rica on Saturday. But Pumas denied his release due to the friendly conflicting with a club match.
While those obligations prevented Saucedo from picking up what would have been his first senior USMNT cap, the 23-year-old says he's hopeful that his strong start in Liga MX will lead to another chance for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers, which fall during a FIFA window where there won't be any conflicts with his league matches.
"The senior team called me in to play Costa Rica, but because of a game here, we traveled to Torreon and the US game against Costa Rica was Saturday, so they didn't let me go," Saucedo said. "For Olympic qualification, there's the FIFA date. I imagine the club will deal with that when it comes to letting us go or not. I'd like to go. It'd be a dream to qualify for the Olympics."
Saucedo has certainly been bolstering his case since his move to Liga MX, after breaking into head coach Michel's rotation with regular playing time and scored a goal in his club debut during a 2-1 victory over Pachuca last month.
Saucedo, a Homegrown RSL product, spent 2014-2019 in Salt Lake, scoring five goals in 83 MLS appearances. He also did another stint in Liga MX in 2016, when he spent the season on loan with Veracruz and made four league appearances.
The US U-23s Olympic qualifying campaign kicks off in Guadalajara on March 20 and will run through April 1.