The four CONCACAF teams heading to the U-20 2023 World Cup in Indonesia are now set. Now, all that’s left is to determine which two teams will represent the region in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Dominican Republic and Guatemala secured the final two spots in the U-20 World Cup, by beating Jamaica and Mexico, respectively. They joined the United States and Honduras, who had previously qualified, with the Dominican Republic now set to face Guatemala and the United States going up against Honduras in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
FIFA celebrates three separate World Cups – two youth ones: an U-17 World Cup, which is only open to players under seventeen, an U-20 World Cup, open to players under 20, and the World Cup most of us are familiar with, which is open to players of all ages. The latter will take place in Qatar in November of this year. The next U-20 World Cup will be in Indonesia in 2023, and the next U-17 World Cup will take place also in 2023, in Peru.
Honduras, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, alongside the United States, all qualified for the U-20 World Cup by virtue of being the final four in the CONCACAF U20 Championship. The final two in the Championship will also qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Olympics only allow qualifying nations to field teams made up of players under 23, which is why the U-20 Championships are being used by CONCACAF to determine the teams which will represent the region in the Olympics.
Once the teams qualify for the Olympics, however, each national team will be allowed three additional older players, which can accompany the team to compete in the Olympics.
The U-20 World Cup has long been considered a showcase for the most promising players in the sport, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Adriano, and Giovani dos Santos having made a name for themselves in this tournament before becoming stars.