The Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament is finally happening, albeit a year late. Jalisco, Mexico, will host 15 games over two weeks to determine the region’s two berths to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch Concacaf Olympic qualifying, including Fox’s unprecedented coverage plans.
The women’s Concacaf qualifying tournament was played last year as the U.S. and Canada clinched trips to Tokyo during a tournament played in Texas and California in January and February of 2020. But when it came time for the men’s competition in March, Covid-19 was shutting down soccer all over the world. Since then, the 2020 Olympics were postponed a year and Concacaf continued to push back the date of the men’s qualifying tournament.
Now that the pandemic is under a bit more control — at least, somewhat better than it was last year as folks slowly get vaccinated — the tournament can finally be played. Slated for March 18-30, games will be played in Guadalajara and Zapopan in Jalisco.
Though it’s not a competition for the senior national team like it is for the women, this U-23 competition represents an important opportunity for the USMNT to show how far it’s come. The U.S. men haven’t qualified for the Olympics since 2008. (The U.S. women have never failed to qualify and only once failed to medal.)
Fortunately, it’ll be easier than ever for fans in the U.S. to watch.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) March 12, 2021
How To Watch Concacaf Olympic Qualifying 2021
For the first time ever in English, all Concacaf men’s Olympic qualifying matches will be available on cable TV in the U.S. FS1 will broadcast 13 matches with two more on FS2. Fox’s top soccer announcers will lead the broadcasts. Univision has the Spanish-language broadcast rights in the U.S. and will televise every match on TUDN.
How To Watch Concacaf Olympic Qualifying On TV/Streaming
- Channels: FS1, FS2, TUDN
- Streaming: Foxsports.com, TUDN.tv
The tournament features two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semifinals after a round-robin group stage. Because of poor results in the past, the U.S. was drawn into a behemoth of a group, with Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and host Mexico. The other group includes Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti. The two semifinal winners advance to Tokyo (and a mostly meaningless final for bragging rights).
The biggest match will be between the U.S. and Mexico on March 24. FS1 will broadcast the game at 9:30 p.m. ET, while TUDN and UniMás will carry the Spanish-language broadcast. The all-important semifinals are four days later on March 28.
Fox’s broadcasts will include studio coverage from Rob Stone, Maurice Edu and Alexi Lalas. John Stone and Stu Holden will call the USMNT matches. Mariano Trujillo, Adrian Garcia Marquez, Jake Zivin and Warren Barton will also call matches.
Despite not utilizing some of its top U-23 talent (like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna), the U.S. has one of its best teams in years. Of the 20 players chosen by coach Jason Kreis, 11 play in MLS and 11 have senior USMNT caps. Norwich City’s Sebastian Soto and Heerenveen’s Uly Llanez are the only two European-based players on the squad.
Meet the 20 players that will rep the , ⚪️ & in Mexico this month >> https://t.co/GfzR2DUXtT pic.twitter.com/NE10SHlCQp
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@USYNT) March 11, 2021
Not that things will be easy. Mexico’s squad is loaded as well, and you can’t ever look past Costa Rica. The USMNT will hope to win its first two games to avoid an all-or-nothing clash with Mexico in the final group-stage match.
It’s great that FS1 and FS2 will be devoting all this airtime to youth soccer, though there’s not much else Fox has the TV rights to at this time. Most of America will be focused on the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which were canceled last year by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But this should be an exciting two weeks to see if the U.S. can shrug off its past failures at this level to reach the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
How To Watch Concacaf Olympic Qualifying – TV Schedule
(All times ET)
U.S. vs. Costa Rica, 5:30 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Mexico vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Honduras vs. Haiti, 3:26 p.m. — FS2, TUDN
Canada vs. El Salvador, 6 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Dominican Republic vs. U.S., 7 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Costa Rica vs. Mexico, 9:30 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Haiti vs. Canada, 6 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
El Salvador vs. Honduras, 8:30 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Costa Rica vs. Dominican Republic, 6:56 p.m. — FS2, TUDN
Mexico vs. U.S., 9:30 p.m. — FS1, TUDN, UniMás
El Salvador vs. Haiti, 7:30 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Honduras vs. Canada, 10 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up, 6 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, 9 p.m. — FS1, TUDN
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m. — FS1, TUDN