U.S. hosting CONCACAF U-23 qualifying tourney
CHICAGO -- The United States will host the CONCACAF under-23 championship, a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics in men's soccer. Games will be played in Carson, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn., from March 10-23, U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF announced Tuesday. The two finalists in the eight-team tournament will advance to Beijing. The U.S., Mexico, Canada, Cuba and Haiti, as well as three to-be-determined squads from Central America, will participate. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals March 20 and the championship match March 23. The Home Depot Center in Carson, outside Los Angeles, and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will each host three doubleheaders in group play. The U.S. team will play in Tampa during the group stage. The Americans qualified for six straight Olympics from 1980-2000 before missing out in 2004. The three teams from Central America are expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador are competing for the spots. The U.S. squad will convene Dec. 2 for a weeklong training camp, then will embark on a nine-day tour of China from Dec. 9-17 in which it will play two matches against the Chinese under-23 national team.