U.S.’ Olympic men’s soccer qualifying tournament postponed

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The CONCACAF Olympic men’s soccer qualifying tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus, pushing back the U.S.’ bid to qualify for the Games for the first time since 2008.

The tournament was previously scheduled for March 20-April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico, including the top nations from North and Central America.

“CONCACAF is committed to working with key stakeholders to consider options on how and when to reconvene these competitions, and any new decision will be communicated in due course,” according to a press release.

The U.S., which already named its roster, hopes to grab one of the last two Olympic men’s soccer berths for the 16-team Olympic tournament.

Once the tournament is rescheduled, the Americans must finish first or second in their group against CONCACAF power Mexico, Costa Rica (which usually qualifies for the World Cup but hasn’t been to an Olympics since 2004) and the Dominican Republic.

If it advances, the U.S. would likely play Honduras or Canada in a winner-to-Tokyo semifinal. If the U.S. qualifies, its Olympic roster must be 18 players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, with three over-age exceptions allowed.

The U.S. failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic tournaments, marking its first back-to-back Olympic absences since 1964 and 1968 (not counting the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games).

World powers France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Argentina were among the nations to earn Tokyo places from previous continental qualifiers.

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