London calling: quest to qualify begins 22 March
Posted on 21 March 2012 in Men's Olympic Football Tournament
The Canadian Soccer Association wishes its national team all the best in its quest to qualify for the London 2012 Men's Olympic Football Tournament. The Canadian team officially begins that quest on Thursday 22 March when it takes on El Salvador in the opening match of the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament. Only two teams from the CONCACAF region will qualify for the 16-team London 2012 Olympics.
The Association encourages all Canadian fans and soccer enthusiast to get behind the Canadian team in the coming two weeks. The tournament runs 22 March to 2 April, with group matches on 22 March (v El Salvador), 24 March (v USA) and 26 March (v Cuba). The win-and-qualify semi-final match is 31 March in Kansas City, KS. Canada, Cuba, El Salvador and USA make up Group A (Nashville, TN) while Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago make up Group B (Carson, CA). The semi-final matches will feature the top-two teams from each group (A1 v B2 and B1 v A2).
Fans can watch the Canadian team in its Olympic quest live on Sportsnet and CONCACAF TV. Canada's opening match on 22 March will be broadcast live on Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet East and Sportsnet One (18.30 ET / 15.30 PT). The match will be replayed on Sportsnet West (02.00 ET / 23.00 PT) and Sportsnet Pacific (after midnight at 04.00 ET / 01.00 PT). The USA-Cuba match, meanwhile, will be broadcast live on Sportsnet One and CONCACAF TV (20.00 ET / 17.00 PT).
The Canadian Soccer Association has already qualified one team for the London 2012 Olympics: in January, Canada's women's national team was one of two CONCACAF teams that qualified for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament. To qualify a second team would mark a first in Association history.
Canada previously participated in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament at St. Louis 1904 (Olympic gold), Montréal 1976 (as host) and Los Angeles 1984 (fifth place finish). Canada also participated in one Women's Olympic Football Tournament before this year (a quarter-final finish at Beijing 2008).