The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many leagues and tournaments around the world this year, but the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team now knows its schedule for the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Concacaf announced on Friday that the qualifying tournament will run from March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The schedule was originally scheduled to begin in October or November 2020, but due to the pandemic continuing to impact all around the world, Concacaf and FIFA had to force a change.
In January 2020, the eight participating teams were drawn into two groups of four for the group stage.
The USMNT was paired with Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic in Group A. Group B consists of Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti.
March 18th will see the start of group stage play at the Jalisco Stadium, with the USMNT facing Costa Rica. Jason Kreis’ side will take on the Dominican Republic on March 21st at the Akron Stadium before closing out group stage against El Tri on March 24th.
The semifinals will be played at the Jalisco Stadium on March 28th before Akron Stadium hosts the Final of the tournament on March 30th. The two finalists will receive berths to the rescheduled 2021 Olympics, which is slated to take place in Tokyo, Japan this summer.
In addition to participating in Olympic Qualifying and a possible involvement in the Finals Tournament, the USMNT will also conclude the Concacaf Nations League this year. The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is also scheduled to take place in the United States this summer while 2022 World Cup Qualifying will begin in November.
The USMNT did not qualify for the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, but will seek to end that streak this year.