The United States has been named as the host of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) qualifying tournament for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The under-23 competition, which is due to take place from October 1 to 13 this year, will see eight nations battling for the two tops spots that will automatically grant places at Rio 2016, where they will be hoping to repeat the success of CONCACAF nation Mexico, who claimed the gold medal at London 2012.
The third placed country will also earn the right to face South American Olympic qualifying runner-up Colombia in a playoff for one additional spot at the Games in Brazil.
"The Olympic Qualifying Championship provides an ideal stage for CONCACAF nations to demonstrate the bright future the Confederation holds on the field," Jeffrey Webb, President of CONCACAF, said.
"We look forward to some great soccer as the competing nations strive to match our historic Olympic performances three years ago in England, from Honduras and, of course, Mexico 2012 Olympic champion."
The tournament will divide the teams, which comprise hosts the US, Canada, Mexico, three nations from the Central American region and two from the Caribbean - to be decided in the coming months, into two groups of four, with the top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advancing to the semi-finals.
"We are looking forward to hosting the Olympic Qualifying Championship and showcasing the quality of soccer in the region," said US Soccer President Sunil Gulati.
"The Olympics hold a special place in the hearts of all Americans and this is a great opportunity to see these young athletes from across North, Central America and the Caribbean compete for the opportunity to reach their goal of playing in the Olympic Games."
Details of host venues, ticketing information and the competition schedule will be announced following the qualifying tournaments in Central America and the Caribbean.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2015: FIFA and Rio 2016 at odds over use of Manaus for Olympic football matches
February 2015: Argentina seal Rio 2016 football berth after winning South American Under-20s title
January 2015: Neymar hopes to fire Brazil to first Olympic football gold at Rio 2016
January 2015: Rio 2016 football venues set to be finalised next month