It’s Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, which means that CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying is finally here.
Puerto Rico and Mexico kick off the tournament in Frisco, Texas at 6 p.m., ET, followed by the United States vs. Costa Rica at 8:30 p.m. ET in the nightcap. Click here to watch both games online on NBC Sports Live Extra (no TV authentication required for Wednesday).
For complete tournament rosters for all eight teams, click here.
The U.S. women are heavily favored to advance to the Olympics. They are three-time defending Olympic gold-medalists and they are the reigning World Cup champions.
But they have plenty of distractions. They are in a legal battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation over whether or not a collective bargaining agreement even exists, and now the fear of the Zika virus and its potential health ramifications on newborns is something of concern for the team, too.
“It’s honestly been zero percent of a distraction,” Carli Lloyd told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s between our legal team and between attorneys. We really had nothing to do with it.
“First and foremost,” Lloyd said. “It’s about taking care of business on the field. As a captain, it’s my job to make sure everyone is ready and focused on that.”
Group A consists of USA, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group B consists of Canada, Guatemala, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, where the winners of those two matches book berths to Rio.