CONCACAF Men’s Olympic qualifying tournament to be played in Carson, Nashville and Kansas City



CONCACAF announced on Thursday that its 2012 Men’s Olympic qualifying tournament will be held in three cities in the United States — Carson, CA; Nashville, TN; and Kansas City, KS, from March 22 to April 2.  The tournament will determine the confederation’s  two representatives at the 2012 Olympic Games. 
The eight-nation tournament consists of two four-team groups with the top two finishers from each group advancing to the semifinals.  The semifinal winners will advance to the tournament final and book their tickets to London. 
One of the four-team groups will be contested at The Home Depot Center in Carson, while the other group will play in Nashville’s LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.  The semifinals and final will be played in the Kansas City, Kansas’ LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, which opened in June of this year and is home to Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City. 
The tournament will kick off in Nashville on March 22, followed by two more match days on March 24 and 26.  Carson will host matches on March 23, 25 and 27.  The semifinals will be played in Kansas City on March 31 with the final taking place on April 2. 
The Home Depot Center and LP Field were venues in the 2008’s Olympic qualifying tournament.  The Home Depot Center and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park were venues for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. 
Six teams have qualified for the competition thus far:  automatic North American qualifiers the United States, Canada and Mexico; plus El Salvador, Honduras and Panama from Central America.  The final two qualifiers will be decided in the final round of Caribbean qualifying, featuring Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Cuba and host St. Kitts & Nevis, played November 24-28 in Basseterre. 
The draw for the CONCACAF finals will take place after completion of Caribbean qualifying on a date to be determined.

Honduras is the tournament’s defending champion having defeated the United States 1-0 in extra time of the 2008 final in Nashville.

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