Marosevic scored what would prove to be the game-winner in just the sixth minute. Duka, doubled the U.S. lead in the 79th minute and Schuler rounded out the scoring in the 84th minute, just five minutes after entering the game as a substitute.
Next up for the U.S. is a key game against Honduras on Sunday, March 8 at 6 p.m. ET, which fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. With Honduras and El Salvador playing to a 2-2 draw in the first game of the night, the U.S. currently sits on top of Group A with three points and can clinch a berth to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt by virtue of securing one of the top two places in Group A.
“The first game of a tournament is always a tough one as we’ve essentially been working for a whole year to get here,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen. “We are obviously extremely pleased with our result but we know we have to get better when we face two good opponents in Honduras and El Salvador.”
The game started at a fast pace with the U.S. making the most of their first dangerous attack. Duka, who was playing in his first-ever international game, dribbled past a pair of defenders in the box and sent the ball across the goal mouth for Danny Cruz. Cruz headed the ball down for Marosevic, who hit a side volley from close range that gave Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake no chance.
The goal came seconds after a chance on the other end that forced U.S. goalkeeper Brian Perk into his first save of the game. Dever Orgill, who gave the American defense trouble all evening, ran onto a long ball and carried it forward. With the U.S. defense closing in, he took a shot from just inside the 18 that Perk did well to prevent from going inside the near post.
Both teams exchanged possession throughout the remainder of the first half, but the U.S. defense, led by team captain Kyle Davies, prevented Jamaica from creating many dangerous chances. The U.S. attack had several chances in the half to add to its lead but could not find the back of the net.
The U.S. continued to press for chances in the second half as the game became more physical. Jamaica finished the game with 15 fouls to just six from the U.S. As the game wore on, the Americans gave Jamaica little chance to level the score.
In the 52nd minute, Marosevic ran onto a long ball and chipped it up and over Blake, who was off his line. However, his shot was not strong enough to get the ball over the goal line as a Jamaican defender was able to clear it away just in time. Minutes later, Jared Jeffrey, who was very involved from his role in central midfield, finished a give and go in the attacking end with a shot that looked destined for the far post, but ended up just wide.
Cruz, whose tireless efforts down the right wing earned him ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors, set up the USA’s second goal for Duka in the 78th minute. He battled down the sideline and slotted a perfectly placed ball into the penalty area. Marosevic ran over the ball, leaving Duka with a tap in and the New Jersey native finished off the play that doubled the U.S. lead.
A minute later, Rongen brought on 18-year-old Billy Schuler and his substitute paid immediate dividends. Gale Agbossoumonde flicked on a Duka corner right to Schuler, who was waiting at the far post. Schuler knocked the ball to round out the scoring on the night and help give the U.S. a major advantage in Group A.
The U.S. is looking to qualify for their record seventh-straight FIFA Under-20 World Cup. In 2005 and 2007, when CONCACAF qualifying was held as two groups at two separate venues, the U.S. has won their group. In the previous three editions in 1999, 2001 and 2003, the U.S. qualified for the World Cup as the second-place finisher in their respective group.
With 11 FIFA U-20 World Cup appearances, the U.S. has qualified more than any other CONCACAF nation, but has never won the regional crown. The U.S. will, however, be vying to qualify for its record seventh-straight FIFA U-20 event after winning its group in both 2007 and 2005.
U.S. UNDER-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: March 6, 2009
Competition: 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship
Venue: Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET)
Weather: 75 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
JAM 0 0 0
USA – Peri Marosevic (Danny Cruz) 6th minute
USA – Dilly Duka (Danny Cruz) 79
USA – Billy Schuler (Gale Agbossoumonde) 84
USA: 24-Brian Perk; 4-Sheanon Williams, 22-Gale Agbossoumonde, 2-Kyle Davies (capt.), 3-Anthony Wallace (11-Jorge Flores, 84); 8-Jared Jeffrey, 10-Dilly Duka, 12-Bryan Arguez (6-Amobi Okugo, 71); 7-Danny Cruz, 9-Peri Marosevic (16-Billy Schuler, 79), 23-Brek Shea
Subs not used: 5-Aaron Maund, 13-Tony Taylor, 15-Brian Ownby, 1-Sean Johnson
Subs not available: 14-Sam Garza, 18-Josh Lambo
Head coach: Thomas Rongen
JAM: 13-Andre Blake; 3-Keithy Simpson, 4-Andre Darby, 6-Levaughn Williams, 15-Andrae Campbell; 7-Evan Taylor, 17-Shamar Shelton (11-Davion Thorpe, 50), 10-Romario Campbell (14-Andre Clennon, 81), 18-John-Ross Doyley; 19-Dever Orgill, 21-Reneil Sappleton (9-Alonzo Adlam, 50)
Subs not used: 1-Gariece McPherson, 12-Damaine Thompson, 16-Christopher Banner, 5-Andre Steele
Head Coach: Donovan Duckie
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 9 / 9
Shots on Goal: 8 / 5
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 15
Offside: 4 / 2
JAM - Dever Orgill (caution) 1st minute
USA - Anthony Wallace (caution) 23
USA - Kyle Davies (caution) 90
Referee: Ricardo Cerdas (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Egbert Paesch (ARU)
Assistant Referee 2: Venton Mars (GUY)
Fourth Official: Paul Ward (CAN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: