Tokyo 2020! US Women’s Olympic Qualifying 101

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Tokyo 2020! US Women’s Olympic Qualifying 101

Women's OLYMPIC SOCCER 101 Soccer, of course, is an Olympic sport. It’s not the World Cup, but it’s a big deal. Olympic soccer and World Cup socce

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Soccer, of course, is an Olympic sport. It’s not the World Cup, but it’s a big deal. Olympic soccer and World Cup soccer have different roster rules. Qualifying is a bit different as well.

Read More about Olympic Qualifying for the Men Here


For the women, twelve teams will qualify for Tokyo. Sixteen men’s teams, on the other hand, qualify for Tokyo. Unlike the men, there is also no age limit for women’s teams. The men are only allowed three players aged 23 and over.

The roster size is the same for the men’s and women’s Olympic teams. Each team is allowed 18 rostered players, as opposed to 23 players for a World Cup.


The US Women’s National Team must qualify for Tokyo through CONCACAF. Only TWO Concacaf teams will qualify for Tokyo. The American men will have a more difficult road through Olympic qualifying. Failure to qualify for Tokyo, however, would be considered a complete and totally unexpected disaster for the US Women.


The two top Concacaf seeds are Canada and the USA. As the top seeds, they are not in the same group together. The USA is in group A with Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti.

Canada’s is grouped with Mexico, Jamaica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Kicking off qualifying, Concacaf group rounds will be played in Texas beginning January 28th. Then, the top two teams from each group will travel to California. Finally, those four teams will play in back-to-back semi-finals on Friday, February 7th at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, CA.

Tokyo Decision Day: Friday, February 7th

Winners of those Feb 7 semi-final games automatically qualify for Tokyo. The top Concacaf seed for Tokyo will be decided on Sunday February 9th, at the final match.

Of course, anything can happen during qualifying. But unlike the US men, the US Women’s National Team is expected to easily qualify for Tokyo. Once they get to Tokyo, however, the road to gold is not guaranteed.

Four out of six gold medals

There have been six Women’s Olympic Soccer tournaments. The USA has won four of them. Most recently, in Rio 2016, the American women were knocked out of the Olympics by Sweden in the quarter-final round.

Half of the field already qualified, and they’re good

Meanwhile, six teams have already qualified for Tokyo:

  • Brazil
  • Great Britain
  • Japan (host country)
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Sweden

With women’s soccer on the rise globally, earning a fifth Olympic Gold Medal is not going to be a cake walk for the American women. Certainly, many Olympic teams are more than capable of giving the American women a big challenge.

Olympic Soccer begins on July 22nd

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is on July 24th. Because of the number of games required to finish the tournament, teams will play some Olympic matches before the opening ceremony. Therefore, group round games begin on July 22nd. Knock out games, after that, will begin on July 31st. Then, the semi-finals will be played on August 3rd.

The Gold Medal Match is on August 7th

Finally, gear up at soccerloco! I believe that we will win!

See you in Tokyo.