Men's Olympic soccer may not be the same exact draw as the World Cup, but it's still a pretty interesting tournament, one that the United States embarrassingly missed out on for London 2012, and Mexico cleaned up by winning the gold medal.
CONCACAF announced on Thursday the venues for the Olympic Qualifying tournament for the Rio 2016 games, to be held in the United States once again, and a Southern California venue will be among those hosting the tourney. The StubHub Center will host Group B games on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4. Since Mexico have already been placed in Group B, with the USMNT going into Group A, you'll get to see the beginning of El Tri's journey to defend their Olympic title.
Other venues for the group stage of the tournament will be Colorado Rapids stadium Dick's Sporting Goods Park and Sporting Park, which is of course Sporting Kansas City's home stadium. The semifinals and final will take place at Real Salt Lake's park, Rio Tinto Stadium.
The two finalists in the tournament will advance to the Olympics out of the eight-team field, with the third-place team going to a playoff against South American side Colombia.
The qualifying tournament is a U-23 competition, and with Mexico playing there's a solid shot former Chivas USA striker Erick Torres could participate. We'll have to wait and see on that front, but I wouldn't bet against him returning to his former "home" stadium.
There's no ticket information available yet for the Olympic qualifying tournament, but rest assured it will come down the pike ahead of October.
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