Jeremy Ebobisse jogs - Portland Timbers
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Jeremy Ebobisse's dream of representing the United States in the Olympics in jeopardy

It’s long been Jeremy Ebobisse’s dream to represent his country at the Olympics. The young Portland Timbers forward had that dream in his grasp, training in Guadalajara with his teammates on the US team trying to qualify for the first time since 2008.

But then came a flurry of sporting postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the Concacaf Olympic qualifiers.

Ebobisse returned home and on Monday learned the summer’s Olympic Games were also postponed to a later date.

“This is a tournament we had obviously been looking forward to,” the 23-year-old Ebobisse told the Oregonian. “Not many people get a chance to go to an Olympics and for us, to have been leaders as far as age and experience, it was something that we were relishing, trying to set U.S. Soccer back on the right path as far as the Olympics. ... If we’re still called upon, we’ll be ready and eager to put this behind us and qualify for an Olympics, whenever that is.”

There’s a catch, though, for Ebobisse. The men’s tournament has an 23-and-under age restriction and he’ll be 24 next February. The IOC has yet to rule on whether an exception will be made to the age requirement.

“It was a special opportunity and, while we’ll understand if logistically, we’re aged out, we’d also appreciate the opportunity to fulfill another goal on our checklist that we’ve been looking forward to so much,” Ebobisse said. “If things are a little bit more unfortunate on my end and we are aged out, that’s something that you’re also going to have to take in stride and accept the disappointment and not allow it to derail your progress as an individual. Ultimately, playing for your country is about something bigger than yourself.”

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