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USA Drawn into Group A with Mexico and Jamaica for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying


CHICAGO (Feb. 25, 2008) – The U.S. has been drawn into Group A along with Jamaica and Mexico for 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying from April 2-12 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The U.S. will open the tournament on April 4 vs. Jamaica before facing Mexico on April 6. Both games will be played in the Estadio Olímpico Benito Juarez, which will host all 10 games during the qualifying tournament.
The top two teams from Group A will advance to the semifinals, where they will cross over to face the top two teams from Group B, which includes Canada, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. The winners of the April 9 semifinals will qualify for the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.

The U.S. has only faced Jamaica once previously, a 10-0 victory 14 years ago in a Women’s World Cup qualifying match in Montreal, Canada.

Mexico is a more familiar opponent for the U.S., with the teams having faced each other 22 times previously. The U.S. has dominated the rivalry with the qualifying hosts, winning the first 21 meetings before Mexico earned a 1-1 tie on Oct. 20, 2007.

The U.S. is preparing for qualifying at the 2008 Algarve Cup being held from March 5-12 in southern Portugal. Head coach Pia Sundhage has a 20-player roster that will face China, Italy and Norway.

The U.S. will look to qualify for a fourth consecutive Olympic Games and finish in first place at CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying for the second consecutive time. In 2004, the U.S. won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica, and went on to win gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The U.S. qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Games as host, and for the 2000 Sydney Games as a top-seven finisher at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Seven teams have already qualified for the 12-team Olympic Football Tournament. Japan, North Korea and China (hosts) from Asia, Argentina from COMNEBOL, and Germany, Norway and Sweden from UEFA have already booked tickets. In addition to the two teams from CONCACAF, one team from Oceania and one team from Africa have yet to qualify. Brazil will face the runner-up from Africa in a one-game playoff for the final Olympic berth on April 19 in Beijing.

2008 CONCACAF WOMEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SCHEDULE

Group A
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 2 Mexico vs. Jamaica 7:30 p.m. PT
April 4 USA vs. Jamaica 7:30 p.m. PT
April 6 Mexico vs. USA 1:30 p.m. PT


Group B
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 2 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Canada 5 p.m. PT
April 4 Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago 5 p.m. PT
April 6 Canada vs. Costa Rica 11 a.m. PT


Semifinals
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 9 Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B 5 p.m. PT
April 9 Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A 7:30 p.m. PT


Final/Third-place Game
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 12 Third-place Game 5 p.m. PT
April 12 Championship 7:30 p.m. PT


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