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?
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