The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will face a tough road at the upcoming Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament in Mexico.
Jason Kreis’ squad has been paired with Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic in Group A of the tournament. The qualifying tournament is slated to begin on March 20th in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the tournament finalists booking spots at the Olympics.
The U.S. U-23s will open group stage play against Costa Rica on March 20th, before facing the Dominicans on the 23rd and Mexico on the 26th.
The top two teams from Groups A and B will advance to a semifinal knockout round that will decide who heads to the 2020 Olympics in Japan, beginning July 23rd. A final will be played between the remaining two teams, but both teams will have already qualified for the Olympics.
Group B consists of Honduras, El Salvador, Canada, and Haiti.
Unlike the Women’s Olympic Tournament, the men’s tournament features U-23 teams, but allows slots of up to three veterans aged 23 and older per team. Current USMNT stars Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, and Tyler Adams are all eligible for selection, should the Americans qualify.
Eight of the 16 team Olympic field have already qualified for this summer’s tournament. Host Japan qualified automatically, while Egypt, Ivory Coast and South Africa punched their tickets at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt. France, Germany, Romania and Spain earned their berths via the 2019 UEFA U-21 Championship in Italy and San Marino.
New Zealand secured its spot at the 2019 OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Fiji.
The United States has failed to qualify for the past two Olympics, having last competed in the Olympics in 2008.