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Guatemala, Honduras Advance to Final Round of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying


CHICAGO (Nov. 19, 2007) -- Seven out of eight teams for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association of Football (CONCACAF) Men’s Under-23 Championship have been finalized, as two of three Central American teams have assured themselves a place in the Final Round.

Guatemala upset Costa Rica, 2-1, on November 18 to become the second Central American team to qualify for the eight-team tournament in March of 2008. Guatemala topped Nicaragua, 3-0, in the first game of the triangular.

In the other triangular, Honduras posted a 3-0 win over El Salvador and drew, 1-1, with hosts Panama to earn a trip to the U.S. in March.

The two second-place finishers from each triangular, Panama and Costa Rica, will play a two-game home-and-away playoff series later this month, with the winner becoming the eighth team in the final round tournament.

U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF have finalized plans that will see the United States host final round action of the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Under-23 Championship in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville from March 11-23, 2008.

The eight-team tournament will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The tournament will be played as eight doubleheaders at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., and LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

Both The Home Depot Center and Raymond James Stadium will host three doubleheaders each in group play, while LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23.

Ticket information for the games will be announced at a later date.

As hosts, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will be based in Tampa during the group stage of the tournament, but won’t learn its opponents until all of the teams are confirmed and the draw takes place. At that time, a complete schedule of matches will be finalized with kickoff times.

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