October 26, 2011
BACK TO BUSINESS
WNT Olympic qualifying schedule unveiled
The Women’s World Cup now far behind them, the U.S. Women’s National Team will begin qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games against the Dominican Republic January 20 at BC Place in Vancouver.
The U.S. is in Group B of the CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament, and also will face Guatemala on January 22 and Mexico January 24. The DR and Mexico matches kick off at 10:30 pm ET, while the January 22 match is at 7:30.
The tournament runs from Jan. 19-29, with all matches at BC Place. Group winners and runners-up will meet in semifinals on January 27, with both tournament finalists qualifying for the London Games. The Championship Game will be played on Jan. 29.
Host Canada heads Group A, which also features Costa Rica, Cuba and Haiti.
The U.S. Women are attempting to qualify for their fifth consecutive Olympic Games and third straight first-place finish in CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying. In 2008, the USA won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico and went on to win the gold medal in Beijing. In 2004, the U.S. won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica and went on to win gold in Athens, Greece. The U.S. qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Games as host and for the 2000 Sydney Games as a top-seven finisher at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Nine teams have already qualified for the 12-team Olympic Football Tournament: hosts Great Britain; Japan and North Korea from Asia; Cameroon and South Africa from Africa; Brazil and Colombia from South America; and Sweden and France from Europe. New Zealand will likely earn Oceania's lone berth, which leaves just the CONCACAF entrants to be decided.