When the IOC first included women's soccer as part of the Olympic program in 1996, qualifying largely was determined by results in the previous year's World Cup finals, clinching a berth for the United States twice (1999 World Cup champion, 1995 third-place finisher). However, as the Olympic finals field expanded from eight to 10 teams in 2004, qualifying was instituted for the Athens Olympiad.
With CONCACAF limited to two teams at the Olympics, the confederation's qualifying tournament is a six-team event, with both finalists guaranteed a trip to the Games.
Year Venue Qualifiers
1996 No tournament United States
2000 No tournament United States
2004 Costa Rica Mexico, *United States
2008 Mexico Canada, *United States
2012 Canada Canada, *United States