U.S. to host women’s Olympic soccer qualifier with 2 tickets to Tokyo on the line

The U.S. will host the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in early 2020.

Canada will be one of eight countries vying for two berth in the 2020 Olympic soccer field in Tokyo. The host cities and draw for the CONCACAF tournament, which will run Jan. 28 to Feb. 9, will be announced Thursday in Miami.

The host U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, and seventh-ranked Canada will be joined by No. 27 Mexico, No. 38 Costa Rica, No. 51 Jamaica, No. 56 Panama, No. 73 Haiti, and No. 134 Saint Kitts and Nevis in the tournament field.

The field will be divided into two groups. After round-robin play, the top two in each group will cross over for the semifinals, with the winners qualifying for the Olympics and the tournament championship game.

The USA has won the last four CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers with Canada runner-up in 2008, ‘12 and ‘16. The Canadian women were third in 2004, when they failed to make the Olympics.

The U.S., Canada and Jamaica represented CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, at this summer’s World Cup in France. The U.S. won the tournament and is looking to become the first country to win the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics in back-to-back years.

Host Japan, Brazil, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand have already qualified for the Tokyo Games. Still to come are the two teams from CONCACAF, two from Asia, one from Africa, and the winner of a playoff between the second-placed team from Africa and South American runner-up Chile.

Canada won back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 ands 2016 Olympics. The U.S. has won Olympic gold four times (1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012) and silver once (2000).

The Olympic soccer tournaments for men and women will be played at seven venues in Japan.

The Canadian women are currently in China where they will face No. 11 Brazil on Thursday in the opening match of the China Four Nations Tournament in Yongchuan. Canada will then play either No. 16 China or No. 23 New Zealand on Sunday.

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