La Jornada – USA, Mexico and Costa Rica, the “group of death” for pre-Olympic football


Mexico City. The United States, Mexico and Costa Rica fall into the same group, and the battle for two tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games distributed by CONCACAF U-23 before the Olympic Games, which will be held between 18-30 March.

The tournament will be played by eight teams divided into two groups. The first two groups of each group will qualify for the semi-finals and the winners, in addition to going to the final, will be given their passports to Tokyo 2020.

The first group consisted of the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The top three teams have already participated in an Olympic event and are considered the favorites in the sector considered “death” in the CONCACAF region.

The second group includes Honduras, Haiti, Canada and El Salvador.

Death group

The American team is presented with a list of players of Mexican descent such as Galaxy defender Julian Araujo and strikers Ulysses Lenez and Sebastian Soto of Heerenveen and Norwich City of England, respectively, as well as winger Sebastian Saucedo who plays for Mexican football club Puma.

“Qualifying is a challenge we are preparing for. This group can qualify for the Olympics,” said Jason Chris, the US Under-23 coach since 2019.

For Chris and his team, these Olympic qualifiers are special because the United States won it in 1992, but since then they have never been champions again. In fact, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 are not ranked as the last.

The pre-Olympic tournaments bring back bad memories for Mexico, especially because of the painful qualifiers that it suffered on its way to Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008, but in this version, coach Jaime Lozano hopes to benefit from a good generation of footballers. And a local case.

“Some generations have stayed on the road, but we will do everything we can to put the name Mexico very high,” said Lozano, who has sacked midfielders Edson Alvarez from Ajax and Diego Laines from Betis.

The Costa Rican national team will try to return to the Olympic tournament, something that they already experienced in Athens in 2004. In the current squad, the two Major-League players Randall Lille and Louis Diaz, who play in Major League Soccer, stand out with Nashville and Columbus Crew, respectively.

Team Tico has a promising generation of young footballers led by Douglas Sequeira who noted that “making the list was not easy; with them we will face a short and intense tournament with a dream that no one will shy away from. We.”

Dominican Republic, the team that completes the first set, is led by a Mexican named Jacques Passy. His management started as the head of the first team, but then he was also assigned to the U-23 team.

Passy has ambitions to make his debut against Mexico and at least score a draw. He commented, “Costa Rica, the United States and Mexico are thinking more about the confrontations between them and less about us, but by winning a point in the first match, we are turning everything upside down.”

For the fourth in a row

Since their debut in the 2000 Sydney Olympic tournament, the Honduran national team has been absent only in Athens 2004. In the pre-Olympic games, Cracho is heading to the fourth consecutive ranking and will be looking for it with Uruguay’s coach Fabian Quito, who led them to win the silver medal at the Games. Pan-American in Lima 2019.

In Quito’s squad, Douglas Martinez, Real Salt Lake’s MLS striker, could be vitally important.

In contrast, Haiti has never qualified for the Olympic football tournament, while El Salvador has only arrived once so far and was in Mexico City in 1968.

Canada qualified for two Olympic tournaments, in Montreal 1976 and Los Angeles 1984, but in these qualifiers they will not be able to count on their wonderful personality, Alfonso Davis. In the absence of Bayern Munich left back, the North American team would have the hierarchy of midfielder Derek Cornelius, of Vancouver Whitecaps of the NBA.

The 15th Pre-Olympic Games will be held in two locations in Guadalajara, Jalisco: 10 at the Jalisco World Cup Stadium twice and five in modern Akron.

CONCACAF Pre-Olympic Schedule

Thursday, March 18th / Jalisco Stadium

Group A.

The United States and Costa Rica

Mexico – Dominican Republic

Friday, March 19 / Jalisco Stadium

Group B.

Honduras and Haiti

Canada and El Salvador

Sunday 21 March / Akron Stadium

Group A.

Dominican Republic and the United States

Costa Rica and Mexico

Monday, March 22nd / Akron Stadium

Group B.


El Salvador – Honduras

Wednesday 24 March / Jalisco Stadium

Group A.

Costa Rica – Dominican Republic

Mexico, the United States

Thursday, March 25 / Jalisco Stadium

Group B.

El Salvador and Haiti

Honduras and Canada

Sunday 28 March / Jalisco Stadium

Semi-Final Round 1 (First A – Second B)

Semi-Final Round 2 (First B – Second A)

Tuesday 30 March / Akron Stadium


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