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Concacaf announces 2020 Men’s Olympic Qualifying schedule

After the pandemic derailed original plans, Canada’s path towards qualifying for Tokyo 2021 has been revealed.

Players of the Canadian National team huddle before the...
Players of the Canadian National team huddle before the Nations League qualifier game between Canada and USA at Bmo field in Toronto.
(Marchini via Getty Images)

TORONTO, Canada—As was announced last month, the Canadian U-23 National Team is set to return to competitive action in March as Concacaf confirmed the schedule for 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Friday afternoon.

The competition is slated to run Mar. 18 - 30 down in Guadalajara, Mexico, with two noteworthy venues playing host to the matches: the Jalisco and Akron Stadiums.

Last year, the eight participating teams were drawn into two groups of four as follows:

Group A: Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic
Group B: Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti

After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers in each group will advance to the semifinals.

Both semifinal matches will be played on Mar. 28, at the Jalisco Stadium. The semifinal winners will qualify for the final of this competition, and each earn a spot to represent their country at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament at the Tokyo Summer Games.

Canada’s path to qualifying is an interesting one. On the one hand, their group is clearly the weaker one, increasing the likelihood of a semifinal berth; on the other, however, in order to qualify for the Olympic Games, they’ll likely have to overcome one of either Mexico or USA as only the finalists punch their ticket to Tokyo 2021—which by the way, is still up in the air as a result of the pandemic.

The Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifiers were initially scheduled for Mar. 2020, but due to the pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, they were rescheduled for 2021.

Canada last played an international match Jan. 15 vs. Iceland and hasn’t qualified for a Summer Olympic Games since 1984. The team did just have its first camp in about a year, with several youngsters—including Toronto FC’s Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty—becoming eligible to partake in the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship.

For those interested in watching, the tournament will be available on OneSoccer.

The Canadian women, by the way, have already qualified for the Olympic games.


Group Stage (All times listed in EST)

Thursday, March 18 – Jalisco Stadium

17:00/15:00 USA vs Costa Rica
19:30/17:30 Mexico vs Dominican Republic

Friday, March 19 – Jalisco Stadium

15:30/13:30 Honduras vs Haiti
18:00/16:00 Canada vs El Salvador

Sunday, March 21 – Akron Stadium

19:00/17:00 Dominican Republic vs USA
21:30/19:30 Costa Rica vs Mexico

Monday, March 22 – Akron Stadium

18:00/16:00 Haiti vs Canada
20:30/18:30 El Salvador vs Honduras

Wednesday, March 24 – Jalisco Stadium

19:00/17:00 Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic
21:30/19:30 Mexico vs USA

Thursday, March 25 – Jalisco Stadium

19:00/17:00 El Salvador vs Haiti
21:30/19:30 Honduras vs Canada


Sunday, March 28 – Jalisco Stadium

18:00/16:00 1B vs 2A
21:00/19:00 1A vs 2B


Tuesday, March 30 – Akron Stadium

21:00/19:00 Winner Semifinal 1 vs Winner Semifinal 2