Last week four members of Utah Royals FC began qualification for this summer’s Olympics, commencing the 2020 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Utah’s trio of Americans Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press and Becky Sauerbrunn, and Desiree Scott with Canada, went undefeated on opposite sides of the bracket, each earning three wins in three matches. Now all four will move on to the semifinal matches in California with their respective federations.
The United States continued its offensive dominance, outscoring its opponents 18-0 with Utah’s own Press scoring in all three matches for a combined four goals, including a stunner in the final game against Costa Rica in which she curled a left-foot shot into the upper left corner from outside the 18-yard-box. Through three matches, Press also added an assist to her offensive show while O’Hara recorded an assist from two matches played. On the defensive side, Sauerbrunn helped contribute to two shutouts against both Haiti and Panama.
Now the United States will face Mexico in the semifinal match of the tournament. The match will be played on Friday, February 7 at 8:00 p.m. MT at Dignity Health Sports Park. The winner of the match will earn a guaranteed spot in this summer’s Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan and will move on to face the winner of Canada and Costa Rica in the final on Sunday, February 9.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Scott and Canada also saw success, going undefeated through three matches. Scott started in the midfield for two of the three games and saw minutes in the other. Canada too put on an offensive show, outsourcing their opponents 22-0. Scott contributed two assists to helping Canada punch a ticket to the semifinal match.
Canada will face Costa Rica on Friday, February 7 at 5:00 p.m. MT at Dignity Health Sports Park. The winner of that match will face either the United Sates or Mexico in the final on Sunday, February 9 at 4:00 p.m. MT.