The Road to Rio starts today, as the U.S. Women's National Team takes on Costa Rica in its first CONCACAF Olympic qualifier match. The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT, and will only be available via a stream on NBC Sports Live Extra. However, no authentication (e.g., a cable subscription) is required to stream the match.
The USWNT are in Group A for the qualifiers along with Mexico, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. Canada is in a much weaker group B that includes Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana. After a brutal week of three games in five days, the top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, with the final being played on February 21.
USWNT Olympic Qualifying Schedule
USA vs. Costa Rica - Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 PM PT
USA vs. Mexico - Saturday, February 13, 1 PM PT
USA vs. Puerto Rico - Monday, February 15, 5:30 PM PT
Semifinals - Friday, February 19, 2:30 PM PT
Finals - Sunday, February 21, 2 PM PT
The USWNT is 12-0-0 against Costa Rica. The teams faced each other at the beginning of the 2015 Victory Tour, with the U.S. winning 8-0 in Pittsburgh, and 7-2 in Chattanooga. Don't let those scores fool you, though. Costa Rica was without a number of their best players, including midfielder Shirley Cruz, who plays with PSG in France. She has scored eight goals in 50 UEFA Women's Champions League games.
Costa Rica also features Raquel Rodriquez, this year's NCAA Hermann Trophy winner who was selected by Sky Blue FC as the second pick in this year's NWSL Draft.
Seven countries have already qualified for the 12-team Olympic Football Tournament: Brazil and Colombia from South America, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Africa, New Zealand from Oceania, and France and Germany from Europe. Two teams will qualify from CONCACAF and Asia, and one more will qualify from Europe after a mini-tournament in March featuring Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.
The rosters for every team in the tournament are available on CONCACAF's website. The USWNT roster features Seattle Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo and some newer names, including 17-year-old Mallory Pugh. Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe continues to recover from an ACL tear and will likely not be healthy in time for the Olympics.
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, February 10
Time: 5:30 p.m. PT
Location: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Online: NBC Live Extra (no authentication required), NBC En Vivo Extra
This is your USWNT Olympic qualifying gamethread. Enjoy the goals with us.