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U-23 Men Learn Match-ups for Olympic Qualifying Tournament



CHICAGO (December 26, 2007) – The U.S. has learned that it will kick off Group A of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship against Cuba on Tuesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced the match-ups for the Olympic qualifying tournament.

The U.S., which plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders, will then face Panama on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and finish the round-robin tournament against Honduras on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET.

Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

After group play, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place game and championship match on Sunday, March 23. A complete schedule is listed below.

Series tickets for the group matches, along with the semifinals and final in Nashville, Tenn., are on sale now. A series ticket consists of all matches scheduled at a single venue.

Fans can order series tickets -- priced from $36 to $195 depending on the seating area and number of match days included in the series – online at ussoccer.com, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 (Nashville) and at local Ticketmaster ticket centers in the venue cities. Individual match day tickets for doubleheaders at each venue will go on sale at a later date, pending availability.

In Tampa and Los Angeles supporters of each team will have seats at every price level set aside for their fans, allowing fans of the same country to sit together. Fans must order online to choose from this allotment. In Nashville, where the participating teams won’t be known until several days before the semifinal round, seating during the initial sale will be allocated (based on the local population) for U.S.A., Mexico, and mixed/neutral fan sections at each price level.

The U.S. will be led by Peter Nowak, who was named the team’s head coach on Aug. 8, 2007. Nowak has worked with both the Men’s National Team and the Under-23’s since December of 2006, assisting U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley. Nowak’s squad has just returned from a two-game tour in China, where the young U.S. side tied China 0-0 on Dec. 13 and then 3-3 vs. China again on Dec. 16.


2008 CONCACAF Under-23 Championship Schedule

Group A (Tampa, Florida; Raymond James Stadium)
Date             Home         Visitor           Kickoff (local)
March 11     Panama    Honduras     5:30 p.m. ET
March 11     USA            Cuba             8 p.m. ET

March 13     Honduras  Cuba             5:30 p.m. ET
March 13     USA            Panama        8 p.m. ET

March 15     Cuba          Panama        4:30 p.m. ET
March 15     USA            Honduras      7 p.m. ET

Group B (Carson, California; The Home Depot Center)
Date             Home           Visitor            Kickoff (local)
March 12     Haiti             Guatemala    5:30 p.m. PT
March 12     Canada       Mexico            8 p.m. PT

March 14     Canada       Haiti                5:30 p.m. PT
March 14     Mexico         Guatemala    8 p.m. PT

March 16     Guatemala  Canada         3:30 p.m. PT
March 16     Mexico          Haiti               6 p.m. PT

Final Stage (Nashville, Tennessee; LP Field)
Date             Marchup                     Kickoff (local)
March 20     Semifinal 1                5 p.m. CT
March 20     Semifinal 2                8 p.m. CT

March 23     Third-Place Match    1 p.m. CT
March 23     Final                           4 p.m. CT
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