Olympic qualifying rules, and what they mean for U.S. tonight

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You studious and diligent types, a.k.a. the over-achievers who drove me nuts in high school, can go ahead and read all the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying competition rules.

For the rest of you fellow slackers, your ol’ pal here has done the heaving hefting for you.

Two important things to know:

  • Yellow cards are not erased at any point of the tournament. That means the player who picks up two yellow cards in group play will miss the semifinal. (As noted before, the semis are the money round here, since both semifinal winners go to London.)
  • All 20 players may dress for each contest. (Some competitions limit game rosters to 18.)

That 20-man roster makes things a little easier on coaches.  For the U.S. case tonight, specifically, it means Terrence Boyd has a shot at playing.

Boyd, recently capped by the full national team, got into Nashville only last night, having played (and scored) in Borussia Dortmund’s reserve match on Tuesday. Limited to an 18-man roster, U.S. manager Caleb Porter might have had a hard time justifying a game-roster spot for Boyd, given the potential fatigue factor. As it is, a late appearance wouldn’t seem out of the question.