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U.S. U-23s rout Cuba in second game of Olympic qualifying


Photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports


The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team all but locked up qualification from Group A of Olympic qualifying Saturday with another resounding victory.

After toppling Canada in the tournament opener, the U.S. moved onto six points Saturday with a dominating 6-1 win over Cuba. Jerome Kiesewetter scored two goals while Emerson Hyndman capped off a good performance with a goal. Luis Gil recorded two assists.

Kiesewetter’s goals made the score 3-0 and then 4-0. His first came in the 38th minute after Morris laid it off  for the tap-in finish. Kiesewetter’s second goal was equally as simple, coming from a Marc Pelosi pass that beat Cuban goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez. Kiesewetter left the game in the 53rd minute for Maki Tall and Morris was taken out in the 60th minute.

Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers opened the scoring with header goals in the 17th and 35th minutes, which were assisted by Matt Polster and Luis Gil, respectively.

In the 69th minute, Emerson Hyndman scored from about 10 yards away, also assisted by Luis Gil. Alonso Hernandez made it 6-0 in the 76th minute, assisted by Gboly Ariyibi. Both players involved in the goal were second half substitutes.

Among the few chances for Cuba was a diving save made by American goalkeeper Zack Steffen during the first half as Cuban forward Frank Lopez took the shot from a breakaway. A late goal in stoppage time from Cuba’s Daniel Luis Saez served as little more than a consolation as the U.S. cruised to another victory.

The U.S. made minor changes to Thursday’s lineup, in which the team defeated Canada 3-1, opting to start Luis Gil and Boyd Okwuonu instead of Dillon Serna and Fatai Alashe.

With the win, the U.S. returns to action Tuesday in the group stage finale against Panama.


  1. four cuban players defected to usa prior to the start of the usa-cuba match according to espn report:

    “Earlier in the day, CONCACAF confirmed that four Cuban players — Emmanuel Labrada, Dairon Perez, Frank Lopez and Yendry Torres — had defected from the squad.”

    “United States beat Canada in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying”

    my two cents:
    thus, the 6-1 drubbing, it make perfect sense. in the past, i think the last time guys from cuba defected, we also beat them like 6-0 (maybe in the gold cup)? it’s totally normal, expect it every time.

  2. It’s the case with the senior team. We look great against minnows, outpossesed and outclassed by bigger competition. At any rate, happy to see the boys pick up the win.

    • ?

      I see the opposite from the senior team. Sometimes we take it easy against “minnows” (as you call them…I think that’s a poor word choice though), but we show up against the big dogs (Netherlands, Germany, Italy, etc.)

      • hold onto that thought, j. thomas.

        * fifa ranks usa too highly
        * concacaf is much worse than europe (generally)
        * but there is a profit motive for americans to believe usa is better.
        (if usa people believe usa team is as good as top european teams,
        then usa people will spend us dollars on tv packages, tickets to domestic usa games, etc. the market is relatively HUGE and UNTAPPED and just waiting for the flood gates to open and the us dollars to start pouring out!!!
        * when usa plays concacaf opponents and the score is close, that’s because WE’RE NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THEY ARE (no offense to our guys).

        note: it also depends on available of our top players. in the past, we had our “mls team” (ricardo clark, other guys) and our “european team” (kasey keller, brian mcbride, a few other guys). our euro-based players were clearly a notch up (no offense) to our mls-based group, landon donovan being the noteworthy exception at the time. i think today obviously the mls group is relatively stronger compared to our euro group. however, you still want to keep this in mind as you make comparisons.

        now here’s the kicker. so how is it possible that sometime usa gets results against some of the world’s top teams?

        theorem, cont’d:
        * the world’s top teams sometimes:
        A) don’t take usa seriously (example: portugal in 2002 wc were rumored to have thought so little of usa as an opponent that they all stayed out late, partying, the night before the usa-portugal game. see?)
        B) don’t field their “A squad” (staring squad/best players) you have to research into this, sometimes. the article may not come straight out and say it.
        C) match fixing? novel character sherlock holmes would say that nothing is impossible until you rule it out. it is SO EASY to alter the outcome of a football match. one incorrect PK is all you need, sometimes. FACT: people in europe have gone to jail in fifa for match fixinng. it does in fact happen, in real life, sometimes. did it every happen involving usa? (how about usa-spain in 2009? usa “halted Spain’s 35-game unbeaten streak and gave the European champions their first defeat since November 15, 2006.” [1]. gee, that sounds a little unlikely, ya think?)
        D) other factors. maybe, sometimes, the other team “doesn’t care.” these guys on european national teams generally play in big euro leauges. what’s important to these guys? their club, their country. what does some meaningless friendly with usa have to do with any of that? nothing. why get injured in some meaningless game?

        i guess this is sort of like a “theorem” of mine, you might say.

        i just share my 2 cents about it.

        hold on to that thought, though, j. thomas. follow it, and see where it leads. it might be interesting. cheers!


  3. I imagine the quality of the opposition had something to do with it, but they looked a lot better than vs. Canada.Their passing was much quicker, crisper, and more accurate

  4. One game at a time.
    If they keep it together and stay focused, they should put several goals past Panama.
    There were some moments of reall pretty, creative, attacking football.
    And the CB pairing of Miazga and Carterr-Vickers looked solid.
    I would like to see Zelalem get more involved in the attack if he plays v. Panama.
    Let’s go USA!


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