CONCACAF announces 2012 Olympic qualifying schedule

The Games are about to begin.

On Thursday, CONCACAF announced the schedule for its 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament to be held from March 22 to April 2, 2012. The tournament finalists will both earn the right to compete in London next summer.

The first round will consist of two four-team groups, with the top two finishers from each group advancing to the semifinals.

Canada and the United States have both been drawn into Group A along with El Salvador and Cuba. Group B will feature Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and defending tournament champion Honduras. Los Catrachos won the 2008 final in extra time against the US.

The Canucks and Yanks begin play on March 22 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Group B play begins the next day at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The semis and final will be held at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Finals
FIRST ROUND

All times U.S. Eastern (local times in parentheses)
Group A (Nashville, Tenn.): Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, United States
Group B (Carson, Calif.): Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago

Thursday, March 22
At Nashville, Tenn.
El Salvador vs. Canada, 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m.)
United States vs. Cuba, 9 p.m. (8 p.m.)

Friday, March 23
At Carson, Calif.
Honduras vs. Panama, 9 p.m. (6 p.m.)
Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico, 11:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m.)

Saturday, March 24
At Nashville, Tenn.
Cuba vs. El Salvador, 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m.)
United States vs. Canada, 7 p.m. (6 p.m.)

Sunday, March 25
At Carson, Calif.
Panama vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 4:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.)
Mexico vs. Honduras, 7 p.m. (4 p.m.)

Monday, March 26
At Nashville, Tenn.
Canada vs. Cuba, 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m.)
United States vs. El Salvador, 9 p.m. (8 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 27
At Carson, Calif.
Honduras vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 9 p.m. (6 p.m.)
Mexico vs. Panama, 11:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m.)

SEMIFINALS
Saturday, March 31
At Kansas City, Kan.
Group B winners vs. Group A runners-up, 6 p.m. (5 p.m.)
Group A winners vs. Group B runners-up, 9 p.m. (8 p.m.)

CHAMPIONSHIP
Monday, April 2
At Kansas City, Kan.
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m. (7 p.m.)