Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CONCACAF Pre Olympic Tournament

Livestrong Sporting Field in KC is the newest SSS venue in the States.

March 22- April 2nd 2012

The Olympics are held every 4 years, so the CONCACAF Pre-Olympic tournament is held every 4 years. The USA has hosted 3 of the last 5 tournaments. Mexico has hosted twice. Before this the tournament was a home/away format. I am assuming the home/away got very expensive for each federation to fly their team to play. Also CONCACAF officials wanted to have a tournament to crown a champion to promote the sport. I think this was an excellent idea.

It is my belief that the tournament was granted to the USA for 2 reasons. Money and attendance. First and foremost is about money. Just like the Gold Cup has proven there is no other country in CONCACAF or the World for that matter that could get the crowds that the states does. Why you ask, because there are many CONCACAF immigrants who are scattered throughout the states. These immigrants would like non other to go out and support their home country. Last tournament was in 2008 played in the states. There was about 5,000 in the Florida Venue but there was about 15,000 at the Home Depot Center. The semi-final and final was a paltry 13,201 and final 12,663. The group venues were the Home Depot Center, in California and Raymond James Stadium in Fla. The finals were in LP Field in Nashville Tennessee.

The venues for the 2012 tournament are again the Home Depot Center and LP Field in Nashville Tennessee. The Home Depot Center has the location and is the biggest SSS in the states. The Home Depot center also is located close enough to LA to always turn out good crowds. LP Field in Tennessee was again pick and I do not know why. It is a giant American football stadium with capacity of 69,000. The crowd will only be about 13 to 17k. This is not a good venue to play.

The final will be at MLS newest Venue in Kansas City, Livestrong Sporting Park. Livestron Spoting Park is an excellent venue for this tournament semi and finals. It is a state of the art facility and all the teams will be happy with the amenities here. Kansas City also wants to promote the sport for their MLS team. The capacity of 19,000 is perfect for this final.

Livestrong Sporting Park capaciy is 18,467 which will be perfect for the
U-23 Championship. The bvenue is intimate and should be lively
The USA, Canada and Mexico got automatic bids to the final which is a bit unfair to the rest of CONCACAF. 3 nations from Central America will participate. The surprise here is Panama knocked out Costa Rica for the final Central American spot. The Caribbean will place Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago to round out the 8 finalists. Jamaica had a surprise exit when they tied Suriname on points with 7 in the group stage. Suriname tied Jamaica in the 90 minute on a penalty. This allowed Suriname to advance over Jamaica. Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda were both knocked out by host Saint Kitts and Nevis. Those were the Caribbean surprises.

Group A -Nashville, Tennesse, at LP Field

                USA, Canada, Cuba and El Salvador

Group B- Home Depot Center, Carson Ca.
         Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago

1 comment:

Lorric said...

Canada doesn't deserve to just walk into tournaments like these when teams like Jamaica and Costa Rica get dumped out in qualifying. Maybe it's not so bad when the field is 12 teams like the Gold Cup and the now expanded Youth Tournaments (I strongly disagreed with it when those tournaments were for 8 teams too), but not auto-qualify when it's just 8 teams. Maybe a playoff vs Costa Rica for the last spot.

Trinidad and Tobago qualified in a funny way. They lost 5-2 to St. Kitts and Nevis after a 1-1 draw with Cuba. They needed to beat Suriname, who had already beaten St. Kitts and Nevis 1-0, by 6 goals if they wanted to advance at the expense of St. Kitts and Nevis. They won 9-1.