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Kentucky soccer player to represent Mexico in Olympic qualifying

Mexico’s Tanya Samarzich, right, celebrated after scoring against Panama during a CONCACAF women’s under-20 match in Panama City on March 11, 2012.
Mexico’s Tanya Samarzich, right, celebrated after scoring against Panama during a CONCACAF women’s under-20 match in Panama City on March 11, 2012. AP

University of Kentucky soccer player Tanya Samarzich will represent Mexico in qualifying for this summer’s Olympic Games.

The eight-team qualifying tournament for teams in North America, Central America and the Caribbean takes place Feb. 10-21. The top two finishers will play in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.

Samarzich, a sophomore transfer from the University of Southern California, started in six of 15 games at UK last season after recovering from a serious foot injury. She scored three goals and had one assist in her first season with the Wildcats.

Mexico plays in Group A of the qualifying tournament, along with the United States, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. Group B includes Canada, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana.

After round-robin play, the top two finishers in each group advance to the semifinals, with the winners of those two matches earning Olympic berths.

All 15 tournament matches will be streamed live on the NBC Live Extra app. As many as four matches will air on NBC Sports Network, including Mexico’s match against the United States on Feb. 13, though on a delayed basis.

CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

GROUP PLAY

(All times Eastern)

Wednesday, Feb. 10

(At Frisco, Texas)

Group A: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 6 p.m.

Group A: United States vs. Costa Rica, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 11

(At Houston)

Group B: Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m.

Group B: Canada vs. Guyana, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 13

(At Frisco, Texas)

Group A: Costa Rica vs. Puerto Rico, 1:30 p.m.

Group A: United States vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. (Delayed on NBCSN at 9:30 p.m.)

Sunday, Feb. 14

(At Houston)

Group B: Guyana vs. Guatemala, 1:30 p.m.

Group B: Trinidad vs. Canada, 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 15

(At Frisco, Texas)

Group A: Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 6 p.m.

Group A: United States vs. Puerto Rico, 8:30 p.m. (Live on NBCSN)

Tuesday, Feb. 16

(At Houston)

Group B: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guyana, 6 p.m.

Group B: Canada vs. Guatemala, 8:30 p.m.

SEMIFINALS

Friday, Feb. 19

(At Houston)

Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up, 5:30 p.m.

Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, 8:30 p.m.

Note: If U.S. advances to semifinals, its match will be televised live on NBCSN)

FINALS

Sunday, Feb. 21

(At Houston)

Semifinal winners meet, 5 p.m. (Delayed on NBCSN at 11 p.m.)

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