US to enjoy homefield advantage in Olympic qualifying

The US will enjoy home field advantage once again when CONCACAF Olympic qualifying kicks off in late March next year.

CONCACAF on Thursday announced that three US cities – Carson, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn; and Kansas City, Kan. – will host the 2012 tournament that will determine the two qualifiers from this region for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Eight CONCACAF nations split up in two groups will play the first stage of qualifying at The Home Depot Center in Carson (March 23, 25 and 27) and at LP Field in Nashville (March 22, 24 and 26). The HDC is home to MLS clubs LA Galaxy and Chivas USA while LP Field is the home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

The top two finishers in each group will head to Sporting Kansas City’s home of Livestrong Sporting Park for the tournament semifinals and final on March 31 and April 2. The two finalists will book automatic berths to London 2012.

The draw for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying has yet to be held pending Caribbean qualifying, but six of the eight participants are already known: USA, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.

The final two qualifiers will be determined at the end of the November from the following group of Caribbean countries: Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Cuba and host St. Kitts and Nevis.

The US Under-23 team is currently training in Duisburg, Germany. The camp, which is being run by former US World Cup veteran Claudio Reyna in the absence of head coach Caleb Porter, runs through Nov. 16.


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