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U.S. draws Canada, Cuba, El Salvador in Olympic soccer qualifying

December 6, 2011 |  7:23 pm

Porter3The U.S. under-23 men's national soccer team was drawn into Group A, alongside Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, for next spring's CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. The teams will play their three group matches at LP Field in Nashville on March 22-26.

The Home Depot Center in Carson will play host to Group B, which consists of Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Matches in that group will be played March 23-27.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the tournament semifinals at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City on March 31. Winners of both semifinal matches advance to next summer's London Olympic Games.

"The path to reaching our goal of qualifying for the Olympics is a lot clearer," said U.S. Coach Caleb Porter, who will soon announce the roster of players he will invite to training camp in Sarasota, Fla., on Dec. 15-23.

"I'm excited," said midfielder Brek Shea, who plays for Dallas in Major League Soccer and has 40 caps for various U.S. national teams. "The Olympics are one of the coolest events you can be a part of and the chance to qualify is something we are taking very seriously."


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Photo: U.S. under-23 men's soccer coach Caleb Porter. Credit: Gerry Broome / Associated Press