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Concacaf merges qualification for 2024 Olympics, 2023 U-20 World Cup

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A single U-20 team from each Concacaf nation will compete for spots in the Olympics and in the U-20s.

Alex Méndez celebrates with his US teammates at the 2019 Concacaf U-20 Championship.

Concacaf is merging qualification for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics on the men’s side.

The story was first reported by Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

The tournament will be held in the summer, to allow more players to be released from their clubs to participate. Sciaretta’s initial report was corroborated by Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

Instead of having qualification for the 2024 Olympics feature players born Jan 1, 2001 or later, and a separate tournament to qualify for the 2023 U-20 World Cup with players born Jan 1, 2003, the 2001s and 2002s have been cut out of qualification altogether.

This could be a net positive for the USMNT, as the teams have historically had much more success qualifying for the U-20 World Cup than for the Olympics.

This also means there will be two US men’s squads next summer. The last 2022 World Cup qualifying window is in March 2021, but the 2022-23 Nations League begins in June 2021. A full MNT will be called up for Nations League in June, while a U-20 team will be called for the Concacaf U-20 Championship that same summer, with the goal of qualifying for both the 2023 U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics.

What do you think about this proposed change? Hit the comments and let us know!