How does a Copa America trophy and an Olympic gold medal in the span of just one month sound? Well, that’s what the Argentina national soccer team has a chance to accomplish.
Fresh off beating Brazil for the 2021 Copa America title, Argentina will send a squad to the Tokyo Olympics to compete in the U-23 men’s soccer tournament (technically U-24 this year due to the Games being postponed to 2021).
After falling short in the Copa America final, Brazil will have another shot at earning some silverware this summer at the Tokyo Games.
From the TV schedule to format and more, here is everything you need to know about the men’s Olympic soccer tournament in Tokyo.
Is U.S soccer in the Olympics?
The United States men’s national soccer team won’t be joining Argentina and Brazil in Tokyo after failing to qualify for a third straight Olympics. The USMNT lost to Honduras in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying semifinals back in March.
Is England in the Olympics men’s soccer tournament in 2021?
Despite playing each other in the Euro 2020 final, both England and Italy did not qualify for the men’s soccer tournament in Tokyo this summer. The four European countries that did qualify for the Tokyo Olympics are France, Germany, Romania and Spain.
What is the Tokyo Olympics men’s soccer TV schedule?
Olympic men’s soccer games will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.
More information on how to watch can be found on this full TV and live streaming schedule that includes 5,000-plus hours of Olympic coverage.
Here is the full schedule for group stage of the Olympic men’s soccer competition:
Egypt vs. Spain — 3:30 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel (Stream)
New Zealand vs. South Korea — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
Mexico vs. France — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
Ivory Coast vs. Saudi Arabia — 4:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Argentina vs. Australia — 6:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Japan vs. South Africa — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
Honduras vs. Romania — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
Brazil vs. Germany — 7:30am ET (Stream)
Egypt vs. Argentina — 3:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
France vs. South Africa — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
New Zealand vs. Honduras — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
Brazil vs. Ivory Coast — 4:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Australia vs.Spain — 6:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Japan vs. Mexico — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
Romania vs. South Korea — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
Saudi Arabia vs. Germany — 7:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Saudi Arabia vs. Brazil — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
Germany vs. Ivory Coast — 4 a.m. ET (Stream)
Romania vs. New Zealand — 4:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
South Korea vs. Honduras — 4:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
Spain vs. Argentina — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
Australia vs. Egypt — 7 a.m. ET (Stream)
South Africa vs. Mexico — 7:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
France vs. Japan — 7:30 a.m. ET (Stream)
How many soccer teams are in the 2021 Olympics?
The men’s Olympic soccer tournament fields 16 teams and is the largest event in Tokyo. The competition kicks off July 22, the day before the 2021 Opening Ceremony. The group stage is set up with four groups of four teams and a round robin format, so each team will play three games. These are the four groups:
Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France
Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania
Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia
Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia
At the conclusion of the group stage, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout rounds. The quarterfinals are on July 31, followed by the semifinals on Aug. 3. The bronze medal game is set for Aug. 6 and the tournament concludes with the gold medal match on Aug. 7.
Who is the favorite to win the men’s Olympic soccer tournament?
Spain hasn’t won a match at an Olympics since 2000 and failed to qualify for three of the past four Games. But Spain will make its return to the Olympics in Tokyo as the favorite to win gold with -325 odds, according to our partner, PointsBet.
Six players who were on Spain’s senior team that reached the semifinals of the European Championship earlier this summer will also compete in the Olympics. That includes 18-year-old FC Barcelona midfielder Pedri and 25-year-old Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio. Asensio is one of the three overage players each team is allowed to carry.
Brazil, who took home its first ever Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games, is right behind Spain at -250. The defending Olympic champions won’t have Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar at their disposal this time around. Neymar, who clinched the 2016 gold for the host country with a game-winning penalty shootout score against Germany, reportedly was blocked by PSG from competing in the Olympics. But Brazil still boasts a strong roster, headlined by 38-year-old former FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves and Everton forward Richarlison.
France (-170), Argentina (+325) and Germany (+350) are the other top contenders to claim gold in Tokyo.