1-Bill Hamid; 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara (capt.), 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Jared Jeffrey, 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (capt.), 9-Juan Agudelo, 11-Brek Shea
· U.S. head coach Caleb Porter deploys the now familiar 4-3-3 formation
· Two changes from the starting lineup that won 2-0 against Mexico in the friendly on Feb. 29 in Frisco, Texas: Jared Jeffrey starts in central midfield and Brek Shea as the left winger
· The U.S. will wear the all-white Nike kits; Cuba will be in all red
· Five players in the lineup have at least one cap with the full National Team: Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, Mix Diskerud, Bill Hamid, and Brek Shea
· The U.S. and Cuba will face off in the opening match of Olympic Qualifying for the second consecutive cycle, the team’s drawing 1-1 in 2008 in Tampa where Adu scored the USA’s lone goal.
· The referee for tonight’s match is Roberto Garcia from Mexico. In addition to refereeing several CONCACAF Champions League matches and in the Gold Cup, he centered two friendlies for the full U.S. Men’s National Team: the 1-1 draw against Argentina on March 26, 2011, and the 1-0 win on Jan. 21 against Venezuela
Last Time Out
The USA’s lineups during the last U-23 games in Nashville:
vs. Canada; 3-0 W
March 20, 2008
Seitz; Wynne, Orozco Fiscal, Spector, Sturgis; Kljestan (Findley), Edu (capt.), McCarty, Holden; Adu (Gaven), Altidore (Davies)
vs. Honduras; 1-0 L
March 23, 2008
Cervi; Hill, Orozco Fiscal, Ianni, Freeman (Edu); Holden (Wynne), Kljestan (capt.), Sturgis, Gaven; Barrett (Altidore), Findley
- Joe Corona’s goal in the 11th minute was his first for any U.S. National Team and his first of 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying.
- Cuba is playing with 10 men after the 19th minute red card to Dairo Macias.
- Juan Agudelo’s goal in the 37th minute was his first of the tournament and his second for the U-23 MNT.
- Agudelo has scored in two consecutive games, after tallying in the Feb. 29, 2012 win against Mexico.
- Corona’s goal in the 40th minute is his second of the tournament.
- Corona’s second goal was assisted by Mix Diskerud. That is Diskerud’s first assist of the tournament and first career assist for the U-23 MNT.
- Teal Bunbury replaced Agudelo at halftime. This is Bunbury’s second consecutive appearance as a sub for the U-23s after coming on in the 6st minute in the win against Mexico.
- Freddy Adu’s second half goal is his fifth career goal in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying and his second against Cuba. It’s his first of the 2012 tournament.
- The assist from Ike Opara was his first for the U-23s.
- Joe Corona’s hat trick was the first for the U-23s since Alecko Eskandarian’s 3 goals in a 4-3 win against Honduras on Feb. 7, 2004.
- Two of the last three U.S. games in Nashville have had hat tricks. Jozy Altidore’s three goals gave the USA a 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup Qualifier on April 1, 2009.
- The 6-0 win tonight is the U-23’s biggest win since July 20, 1991, a 7-1 victory against Panama in Olympic qualifying.
So that’s it from LP Field! The U-23s with a convincing win to open CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying - their biggest since 1991 - and that’s three points to cap a perfect start. The USA is back in action Saturday, March 24 at 6 p.m. CT with a game vs. Canada. The road to London continues!
Group A StandingsP W L T GF GA GD Pts
USA 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 3
CAN 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
SLV 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
CUB 1 0 1 0 0 6 -6 0