United States to host CONCACAF qualifying for 2016 Olympics
The United States will host CONCACAF qualifying for men's soccer at the 2016 Olympics, the confederation announced Thursday.
The 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship will take place from Oct. 1 to Oct. 13 of this year. Two teams from CONCACAF's qualifier will earn a spot in the Olympics' soccer tournament, which is an under-23 competition.
One additional CONCACAF team will face Columbia -- the runner-up in South American qualifying -- to determine which team will advance to Rio de Janeiro, the site of the 2016 Olympic Games.
"We are looking forward to hosting the Olympic Qualifying Championship and showcasing the quality of soccer in the region," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said, according to CONCACAF's release. "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 United States, Mexico and Canada will all play in the qualifier, while Central America and the Caribbean will send three and two teams, respectively. Those teams will be determined in regional qualifiers.
At the London Games in 2012, CONCACAF nation Mexico won the tournament. The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2012.
The U.S. also hosted qualifying during the last Olympiad, when Nashville, Los Angeles and Kansas City hosted matches. Host cities for this year have not yet been announced.
U.S. Soccer announced last month that Andi Herzog would lead the United States' Olympic campaign.
- Stanley Kay