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 soccer have different roster rules. Qualifying is a bit different as well.
OLYMPIC SOCCER FOR WOMEN: 12 TEAMS WITH NO AGE LIMIT
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.
HOW WILL THE US WOMEN QUALIFY FOR TOKYO?
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.
TOP SEEDS: USA & CANADA
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:
- Great Britain
- Japan (host country)
- New Zealand
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.
View this post on Instagram
We must tell you all about the big day out @miraitowa and @someity had at the #Tokyo2020 Olympic Stadium. ?️ . They got to experience the beautiful exterior, what it's like to be a spectator and even got to go on the track!! ? Stay tuned all day as we share more amazing photos! ? #olympicstadium #paralympics #olympics #miraitowa #someity #roadtotokyo ? Photo by Tokyo 2020 / Uta MUKUO
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
View this post on Instagram
For the first time in @Paralympics history, a series of circular indentations will be featured on the side of the medals to distinguish gold, silver and bronze. This will allow athletes with a visual impairment to easily recognise the medal types by touch. The braille on the medals features the words “Tokyo 2020” ??? . Also, medals at Tokyo 2020 have been manufactured using recycled electronics and are 100% sustainable! #1YearToGo#Sustainability
Finally, gear up at soccerloco! I believe that we will win!
See you in Tokyo.