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USA U-23s rout Cuba in Olympic qualifying opener


photo by Hunter Dorton/


The U.S. Under-23 men's national team is one of the favorites to qualify for this summer's Olympics, and it lived up to its reputation by starting Olympic qualifying in emphatic fashion.

Led by three goals from midfielder Joe Corona, the United States cruised to a 6-0 victory in its Group A opener against 10-man Cuba at LP Field in Nasvhille, Tenn. on Thursday night. Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo and an own goal by Arturo Diz Pe made up the other three tallies for Caleb Porter's side.

Cuba was forced to play down a man for most of the game after Jose Macias was shown a red card in the 20th minute for hitting Juan Agudelo in the face with his elbow.

That ejection came after Corona opened the scoring in the 11th minute. After a free kick was sent into the penalty area by Mix Diskerud, Cuban goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper punched the ball straight into the path of Corona, who chested the ball and hit a sublime volley into the net in one fluid motion.

The U.S. team, which failed to start the match sharply, doubled their lead eight minutes before halftime when Brek Shea sent in a beautiful cross from the left flank to an unmarked Agudelo. The New York Red Bulls striker raced onto the ball and thundered it home with his head.

Rarely troubled on defense, the Americans got on the scoresheet twice more before halftime. Diskerud, who was heavily involved in the United States' attack all night, set up Corona's second goal in the 40th. Three minutes later, a low cross from Shea intended for Agudelo was knocked over the goal line by Diz Pe.

The goals kept coming in the second half. Adu, the U.S. captain, received a pass from centerback Ike Opara and netted on a blast from outside the penalty area, and Corona capped the scoring and sealed his hattrick with a low finish off a feed from Diskerud.

The United States is currently atop Group A with three points. In the first match of the group's doubleheader at LP Field, Canada played to a scoreless draw with El Salvador.

The Americans return to the field on Saturday to take on Canada.


What do you think of the U.S. U-23s 6-0 win? Who impressed you? Which goal did you like the most?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It wasn’t the best crowd. Who was there was on the end and on the camera side, so it probably looked worse on tv.

    Nashville has been a solid site for the senior team in the past. Last year they had around 30K, around the same for T&T in WC qualifying, and even back in 2006 against Morocco.

    Don’t judge the city on this game, or even this qualifying tournament, which is more for hardcore fans. Best place in the South for the US team to play.

  2. It couldn’t hurt to try them out in a FRIENDLY. Either way based on their recent quality play and production, I wouldn’t’ be surprised if one or maybe both got capped in the first WCQ game.

  3. that is the Klinsmann way. He is the one behind everything. it’s just that the senior team doesn’t have the players to play that way at the moment. that is why this team is so fun to watch and think about in the future.

  4. I don’t agree, I think some of our technical players like Feilhaber and Adu have enough skill but they don’t train or hustle as well so he calls players like Klesjtan, Edu and Shea instead.

  5. I think Shea has plenty of upside too it’s just he will have to grow from Early Dempsey to Present Dempsey to manifest it. Shea shows flashes but is not a 90 minute motor guy yet that I think should really start. To get there he needs to incorporate Dempsey’s underrated off-ball running as well as maybe get a little more ruthlessly accurate a finisher. Cause right now Shea is like Dempsey used to be, gets the ball on the wing, dances a little, maybe crosses maybe slashes.

  6. Yeah I watched the MunDos telecast, not sure I have Universal, and the “Shia” issues were cracking my watch group up. Right up there with “Gee-off-ree Scott Cam-er-run,” in recent times.

  7. That’s not bad for a non-senior team in a non-MLS city. Though, again, 4k fans would look better in a cozy SSS as opposed to a giant NFL stadium. Or, hell, on a smaller college campus for that matter.

  8. Well I think the problem is right now the technical players we have ready for the senior team aren’t good enough to play that style against better teams yet…I really think this U-23 generation is when we will start to see a skilled technical style being implemented into our senior team more effectively. These players have the old american athletic ability and hard work mixed in with good technique…the next two world cups will be interesting to see how or if we can transition.

  9. Also I agree that Gyau is a better player than Shea now and in the future in my opinion. That’s not trashing Shea, just how high my opinion has been of Gyau since I saw him in those Nike friendlies like 4 years ago.

  10. I agree with the first post but concerning Adu I disagree, “He’s fairly finesse but not like Shea or Agudelo or Mix slick” I agree Mix is slick and smooth but unless I’m reading this wrong, Shea and Agudelo more finesse than Adu?? Freddy has more skill and finesse than those two combined and I’m a fan of both and their potential. Freddy has proven he has the skill to play at the highest level (and we’ve seen this internationally) it’s the other things he lacks, physical size and speed. If he has the whole work ethic problem/rumor behind him then I think it’s just a matter of finding a team willing to commit to him being a focal point in their attack.


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