U.S. women hope Frisco, Texas, is a short hop to Rio

Morgan Brian and Alex Morgan, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 10, 2016. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Morgan Brian and Alex Morgan, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 10, 2016. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

The U.S. women’s soccer team, fighting for a spot in the Summer Olympics, plays  Mexico at 3 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 13) at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The game will be streamed live on NBC Live Extra and replayed at 8:30 p.m. on  NBCSN.

The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament,  for teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean,  began in Frisco on Wednesday. It ends Monday.

A second and final leg is next week in Houston. With a victory today, the United States could move on to that second leg.

Here’s a quick look at how qualifying works:

• There are eight teams vying for two spots in the Olympics, which start Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro. The eight are divided into two groups. The United States is grouped with Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  The other group consists of Canada, Guatemala, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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• Every team plays the other three teams in its group.

• The two top finishers in each group then advance to the semifinals Friday (Feb. 19) at BBVA Compass Stadium  in Houston. The winners of those two semifinal matches qualify for Rio.

• Standings in a  group are based on points: Three points for a win, one for a draw. If teams are tied on points,  the tiebreakers, in order, are goal differential, total goals scored, and head-to-head results.

The current standings:

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• The United States beat Costa Rica 5-0 in its first group game on Wednesday. Mexico beat Puerto Rico 6-0.

Crystal Dunn vs.Costa Rica, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 10, 2016. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Crystal Dunn scored one of Team USA’s five goals against Costa Rica on Feb. 10, 2016, in the Olympic qualifying tournament in  Frisco, Texas. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

• The final U.S. group game, against Puerto Rico, is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Toyota Stadium.

• A win this afternoon against Mexico would automatically advance Team USA to the Houston semifinals, provided that Costa Rica beats or ties Puerto Rico at 12:30 p.m. today.

Here’s a complete schedule.

• The winners of the two Houston semifinals meet in a championship game at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21 at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it doesn’t mean much. The two teams that make it to that championship match both qualify for the Rio Olympics.

• Twelve national teams will compete in women’s soccer in Rio. Seven have already qualified: Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.  They’ll be joined  by the two qualifiers from the United States’ region; two teams from Asia; and one more from Europe,  either the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden or Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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