USA and Mexico to face off in U-23 tuneup

[DATEBOOK] One of the most intriguing matchups of the winter will be the under-23 international between the USA and Mexico Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, a tuneup before the Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament begins the next month. The game will come 10 days after U.S. head coach Caleb Porter will bring the U-23s into camp in Frisco. It will follow the U.S. international friendly against Italy in Genoa earlier in the day.

"This game is very important for our players and comes at a critical time for us before the start of Olympic qualifying," said Porter. "In this camp we expect to have the majority of the players who are in contention for final roster spots for qualifying. A match against Mexico will serve as a great measuring stick both individually and collectively as we put the finishing touches on our roster selection."

Concacaf qualifying begins on March 22, with Group A games being played at LP Field in Nashville and Group B games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA was drawn into Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, while Group B is composed of Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.

The U.S. and Mexico U-23s will avoid each other in the deciding semifinals if both advance in the same position (first or second).

That didn't happen in 2004 when the U.S. U-23s last met Mexico during qualification for the Olympic Games. Mexico emerged with a 4-0 victory. DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman and Landon Donovan were part of the U.S. squad.

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