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U.S. named host of CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifiers

CONCACAF

By RYAN TOLMICH

The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will have the chance to earn their spot in the 2016 Olympics on home soil.

CONCACAF announced Thursday that the confederation’s Men’s Olympic qualifiers will be played in the U.S. from October 1-13. The tournament’s group stage finale, semifinal and final round all fall on FIFA dates, meaning teams will be able to call in their top U-23 squads.

“We are looking forward to hosting the Olympic Qualifying Championship and showcasing the quality of soccer in the region,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a statement. “The Olympics hold a special place in the hearts of all Americans and this is a great opportunity to see these young athletes from across North, Central America and the Caribbean compete for the opportunity to reach their goal of playing in the Olympic Games.”

The Olympic Qualifying Championship 2015 will send two teams directly into the Olympics, while a third nation will face off with South American runner-up Colombia to earn a spot.

The tournament will see eight teams divided into two groups of four with each group’s top two finishers advancing to the semifinals. The U.S., Canada and Mexico will feature in the tournament as automatic participants, while three Central American and two Caribbean nations will later round out the field.

Additional schedule details and locations will be announced following the conclusion of the qualifying tournaments in Central America and the Carribbean.

What do you think of the U.S. hosting Olympic qualifying? How will the U.S. fare on home soil? Which cities do you hope will host?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

    • Well… in theory, it is not entirely “our decision”. CONCACAF chooses the venues (although US Soccer definitely plays a big role in informing this decision). On some level , it does need to offer a degree of fairness to all teams involved.

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  1. Love that the decisive part of this tournament will include the european-based players. This means that JAB, Yedlin, Hyndman, Green, Rubin, etc will be available for those matches. Very smart move for once by concacaf. One thing that wasnt talked about was the european-based players who couldnt compete last go around, such as altidore, chandler and gatt.

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  2. typically there are 3 stadiums; Group A, B and Semis/Finals

    now that its in the Fall I think we can assume it won’t be an nfl stadium and it could be anywhere. I like the idea hosting all the games in single geographic area and using SSS’s that can bring in everyone’s fans.

    Trio’s of Stadiums that I would propose:
    Chester, Harrison, DC
    San Jose, Sacramento, Carson
    Frisco, San Antonio, Houston

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    • I like the Harrison, Chester, DC triple. October is a beautiful month in the region. For selfish reasons, Chester and Harrison would be ideal.

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  3. I hope these games can take place in cities that don’t get regular WQC or friendlies. There’s no need for 30k+ stadiums for almost all these games, and CONCACAF/USSF aren’t going to make that much money anyway, so we might as well have them in smaller venues that deserve some national team attention.

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    • You will probably get your wish. If nothing else, the USSF & CONCACAF has been extremely conscious of “spreading the love” when it comes to selecting US venues over the years. 34 different US stadiums have hosted Gold Cup games over the years, and over 70 venues have been used for US qualifiers and/or friendlies since 1990.

      Since the Olympic qualifiers are not a big money-maker for the organizing entitites, I’d expect the will be pretty cost-conscious for these games. Probably we will see some soccer-specific stadiums in regions that do not normally see much attention for big games, as well as university stadiums.

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