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U-23 MNT Faces El Salvador on Monday With Semifinal Spot on the Line


U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team
2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
Group A at LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
March 25, 2012

U.S. U-23 MNT WRAPS UP GROUP STAGE VS. EL SALVADOR: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team looks to rebound from Saturday’s loss to Canada when it wraps up Group A play in 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying against El Salvador at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, March 26, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The match will be televised live on the Universal Sports Network, mun2 and CONCACAF.com. Fans also can follow the game via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer. The USA is in third place (three points) in the group stage following a 2-0 loss to Canada at LP Field, with Canada and El Salvador atop Group A with four points apiece.

EYES ON SEMIFINAL POSITION : The U.S. U-23s hold their destiny in their own hands, as a victory against El Salvador on Monday would guarantee a spot in the tournament semifinals. Canada is in a strong position to advance heading into Monday’s game against Group A’s last-place Cuba team, needing a win or a draw to guarantee a semifinal spot. The USA also could advance to the semifinals with a draw against El Salvador if Canada loses against Cuba. In that scenario, the U.S. and Canada would be tied on points, but the USA holds the advantage in goal differential. The top two teams from Group A and B advance to the semifinals in Kansas City which will be played on March 31 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The semifinal winners will join the 16-team field for the 2012 London Olympics.

U.S. U-23 MNT 2012 Schedule/Results

Date

Opponent

Result/

Time (ET)

U.S. Goalscorers/TV

Venue

Feb. 29

Mexico

2-0 W

Agudelo, Diskerud

FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas

Mar. 22*

Cuba

6-0 W

Corona (3), Agudelo, own goal, Adu

LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

Mar. 24*

Canada

0-2 L

LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

Mar. 26*

El Salvador

9 p.m.

Universal / mun2 / CONCACAF.com

LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

*CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Group A Standings and Schedule – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

El Salvador

2

1

0

1

4

0

+4

4

Canada

2

1

0

1

2

0

+2

4

United States

2

1

1

0

6

2

+4

3

Cuba

2

0

2

0

0

10

-10

0

Thursday, March 22
Canada 0, El Salvador 0
USA 6, Cuba 0

Saturday, March 24
El Salvador 4, Cuba 0
Canada 2, USA 0

Monday, March 26
Canada vs. Cuba, 5:30 p.m. ET (Universal Sports Network/mun2/CONCACAF.com)
USA vs. El Salvador , 8 p.m. ET (Universal Sports Network/mun2/CONCACAF.com)

Final Stage (Kansas City, Kan.; LIVESTRONG Sporting Park)
Saturday, March 31
Semifinal: Group B Winner vs. Group A Runner-Up*^, 6 p.m. ET (Telemundo/CONCACAF.com)
Semifinal: Group A Winner vs. Group B Runner-Up*^, 9 p.m. ET; (NBC Sports Network**/Telemundo/CONCACAF.com)

Monday, April 2
Championship Game, 8 p.m. ET (Universal Sports Network/Telemundo/CONCACAF.com)

*Note: Should USA finish as Group A runner-up, semifinal games will switch start times
^Semifinal winners advance to 2012 Olympic Games in London
**NBC Sports Network televising semifinal if USA reaches that stage

U.S. U-23 ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Bill Hamid (D.C. United; Annandale, Va.), 18-Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire; Lilburn, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes; Durham, N.C.), 3-Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo; Huber Heights, Ohio), 4-Perry Kitchen (D.C. United; Indianapolis, Ind.), 5-Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact; Lancaster, Pa.), 13-Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), 19-Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union; Boston, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Jared Jeffrey (Mainz; Richardson, Texas), 7-Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union; Potomac, Md.), 8-Mix Diskerud (Gent; Oslo, Norway), 10-Joe Corona (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), 16-Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), 20-Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): 11-Brek Shea (FC Dallas; Bryan, Texas), 12-Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City; Prior Lake, Minn.), 14-Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), 15-Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund; Berlin, Germany), 17-Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia; Jacksonville, Fla.)

2012 U.S. U-23 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Statistics 
2012 U.S. U-23 Statistics
2012 U.S. U-23 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Packet

GROUP A ROUNDUP:
Andres Flores tallied two goals and Lester Blanco and Richard Menjivar each added a goal as El Salvador earned a 4-0 victory against Cuba on Saturday in Group A play at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. El Salvador went into the half with a 1-0 lead on Blanco’s fourth-minute goal. When Cuba captain Carlos Domingo Francisco was ejected in the 49th minute after picking up his second yellow card, El Salvador completely controlled the run of play the rest of the way. Flores scored in the 53rd and 80th minutes, and Benjivar’s goal came in the 68th minute. With the win, El Salvador moved into first place in the Group A standings with four points. El Salvador is tied on points with Canada, but maintains the top spot due to a superior goal differential.

In Saturday’s nightcap, Canada turned heads with a 2-0 victory against the United States. The two teams were relatively even on the stat sheet, with the USA posting a slight 10-9 advantage in shots while Canada put more one more on frame. The U.S. thought it grabbed the game’s first goal when defender Ike Opara rose for a header off of Freddy Adu’s free kick in the 48th minute, but the assistant referee correctly raised the flag for offside. Canada’s Doneil Henry scored off a header from Philippe Davies’ corner kick in the 58th minute to give the Canadians the lead, then Davies set up Lucas Cavallini in the 83rd minute, the striker’s diving header finding the back of the net from six yards out.

Canada’s U-23 team earned its first win in nearly 20 years against the U.S. The last time USA loss to Canada came May 17, 1992, a 2-1 defeat in the final game of qualifying for the 1992 Olympics after the U.S. already had sealed its place for Barcelona.

AGUDELO OUT WITH INJURY:
The United States is without the services of forward Juan Agudelo for the remainder of the tournament after he was diagnosed with a meniscus tear in his left knee following an MRI evaluation on Friday. Agudelo returned to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday to consult with team physicians on a treatment plan and a recovery time frame.

MEXICO VS. HONDURAS HIGHLIGHTS SUNDAY’S GROUP B SLATE:
The top two teams in Group B action, Mexico and Honduras, face each other Sunday night (7 p.m. ET) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Both squads earned victories in their group openers, with Mexico routing Trinidad & Tobago 7-1 on Friday and Honduras posting a 3-1 win against Panama earlier that day. Panama and Trinidad meet in Sunday’s other Group B match (4:30 p.m. ET) as both sides look for their first win. Both games are broadcast live on Telemundo and CONCACAF.com.

ROSTER NOTES

  • Freddy Adu has played at nearly every tier for the U.S. National Teams, netting 16 international goals for the U.S. U-17s, 16 goals for the U-20s, five goals for the U-23s and two goals for the senior team.
  • Adu scored four of his goals for the U-23s during Olympic Qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Two of his goals came in the 3-0 semifinal win against Canada to qualify for the Games, and he was named to the tournament’s Best XI.
  • With Agudelo injured, Hamilton, Ontario, native Teal Bunbury earned his first U.S. U-23 start at forward against Canada.
  • FC Dallas forward Brek Shea is the only player to earn a cap in all 10 matches under U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
  • Bill Hamid became the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to record a clean sheet in his first game with the U.S. MNT, making a save as the U.S. defeated Venezuela 1-0 on Jan. 21 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
  • Thirteen players on the roster have played in at least one World Cup at the youth level, and four players – Adu, Jared Jeffrey, Shea and Sheanon Williams – have appeared in both the U-17 and U-20 tournaments.
  • The U-17 Residency Program developed 11 players who represent the U.S. in Olympic qualifying: Adu and Michael Stephens from the 2003 cycle; Jeffrey, Amobi Okugo, Kofi Sarkodie, Shea and Williams from the 2007 cycle; and Agudelo, Joe Gyau and Kitchen from the 2009 cycle.

BY THE NUMBERS:
4 Players who were coached by Caleb Porter at Akron (Teal Bunbury, Perry Kitchen, Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin)
4 Goals scored by Freddy Adu during the USA’s 2008 Olympic Qualifying
8 Players who have earned a cap with the U.S. senior team
14 Players competing on MLS teams
17 Senior team caps earned by Adu
55 Younger-level appearances by Adu (15 U-17 games, 33 U-20 games and 7 U-23 games)

ROSTER NOTES

  • Freddy Adu has played at nearly every tier for the U.S. National Teams, netting 16 international goals for the U.S. U-17s, 16 goals for the U-20s, five goals for the U-23s and two goals for the senior team.
  • Adu scored four of his goals for the U-23s during Olympic Qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Two of his goals came in the 3-0 semifinal win against Canada to qualify for the Games, and he was named to the tournament’s Best XI.
  • Juan Agudelo had 14 appearances and six starts while logging 683 minutes for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2011.
  • With Agudelo injured, Hamilton, Ontario, native Teal Bunbury earned his first U.S. U-23 start at forward against Canada.
  • FC Dallas forward Brek Shea is the only player to earn a cap in all 10 matches under U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
  • Bill Hamid became the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to record a clean sheet in his first game with the U.S. MNT, making a save as the U.S. defeated Venezuela 1-0 on Jan. 21 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
  • Thirteen players on the roster have played in at least one World Cup at the youth level, and four players – Adu, Jared Jeffrey, Shea and Sheanon Williams – have appeared in both the U-17 and U-20 tournaments.
  • The U-17 Residency Program developed 11 players who represent the U.S. in Olympic qualifying: Adu and Michael Stephens from the 2003 cycle; Jeffrey, Amobi Okugo, Kofi Sarkodie, Shea and Williams from the 2007 cycle; and Agudelo, Joe Gyau and Kitchen from the 2009 cycle.

BY THE NUMBERS:
3 Players who were coached by Caleb Porter at Akron (Teal Bunbury, Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin)
4 Goals scored by Freddy Adu during the USA’s 2008 Olympic Qualifying
8 Players who have earned a cap with the U.S. senior team
14 Players competing on MLS teams
15 Senior team caps earned by forward Juan Agudelo, 14 games in 2011
17 Senior team caps earned by Adu
55 Younger-level appearances by Adu (15 U-17 games, 33 U-20 games and 7 U-23 games)

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Article: U.S. U-23 MNT Drops 2-0 Result to Canada in Group A Play
Article: U.S. U-23 MNT Starts Group A of Qualifying with Victory Against Cuba
Article: Post-Match Quote Sheet – U.S. U23 MNT 6, Cuba 0
Article: Q & A With U-23 MNT Goalkeeper Coach Eric Yamamoto
Article: U-23 Midfielder Freddy Adu Takes on Veteran Role
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time Podcast With Perry Kitchen
Podcast: Studio 90 Extra Time Podcast with Ike Opara
Podcast: Zarek Valentin Podcast: Frisco, Texas, Episode 1
Podcast: Zarek Valentin Podcast: Frisco, Texas, Episode 2
Podcast: Zarek Valentin Podcast: Olympic Qualifying, Episode 1
Podcast: Zarek Valentin Podcast: Olympic Qualifying, Episode 2
Video: Behind the Crest: It’s Finally Here
Video: Studio 90: U-23 MNT Opens Olympic Qualifying With Win
Video: Studio 90 Extra Time: Perry Kitchen, Pt. 1
Video: Studio 90 Extra Time: Perry Kitchen, Pt. 2
Video: Studio 90 Extra Time: Ike Opara, Pt. 1
Video: Studio 90 Extra Time: Ike Opara, Pt. 2

IN FOCUS: EL SALVADOR U-23 MNT
Salvadoran Football Association (Federacion Salvadorena de Futbol)
Founded: 1935 (Joined FIFA in 1938)

EL SALVADOR U-23 UPDATE

  • Dustin Corea is a former U.S. U-17 international and played for El Salvador during Central American qualifying for the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
  • Lester Blanco has tallied four goals in the Salvadoran Apertura and three in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for Metapan.

USA Olympic History Against El Salvador: The U.S. has faced El Salvador five previous times for a 3-0-2 record. Monday’s matchup will be the first since the 1988 Olympic Qualifying for the Seoul Olympics. The U.S. and El Salvador played three games during qualifying for the 1972 Munich Olympics. The two sides played in two 1-1 draws on July 18 and Aug. 15, 1971. John Carenza had the USA goal in the first match and Manny Hernandez had the U.S. goal in the second match. Al Trost scored the lone goal for the U.S. on Sept. 18, 1971, in the third meeting as the United States eventually qualified for the Olympics in 1972.

The U.S. offense was in top form during qualifying for the 1988 Seoul Olympics as it posted a 4-2 win on Oct. 18, 1987, against El Salvador, followed by a 4-1 victory on May 25, 1988, in the second leg to cap off qualifying. In the Oct. 18 match, Hugo Perez had two goals and Brent Goulet and Frank Klopas each had a goal for the U.S. In the May 25 game, Goulet had two goals, Rick Davis added a goal and the USA benefitted from an own goal.

EL SALVADOR U-23 ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Diego Cuellar (Atlético Marte), 18-Yimy Cuellar (Alianza FC)
DEFENDERS (4): 2-Milton Molina (Metapán), 4-Xavier García (Firpo), 5-Alexander Mendoza (UES), 13-Alexander Larin (Atlético Marte)
MIDFIELDERS (10): 3-Marlon Martínez (Firpo), 6-Elman Rivas (Alianza), 8-Diego Chavarría (Once Municipal), 10-Jaime Alas (Firpo), 12-Edwin Sánchez (Metapán), 14-Herbert Sosa (Alianza FC), 15-Jorge Morán (Metapán), 16-Richard Menjívar (Cal State Bakersfield), 19-Darwin Cerén (Juventud Independiente), 20-Andrés Flores (Viborg)
FORWARDS (4): 7-Dustin Corea (Blokhus FC), 9-Isidro Gutiérrez (Águila), 11-Jonathan Águila (Águila), 17-Léster Blanco (Metapán)
Head Coach: Mauricio Alfaro

* * *

IN FOCUS: CUBA U-23 MNT
Football Association of Cuba (Asociacion de Futbol de Cuba)
Founded: 1924 (Joined FIFA in 1932)

CUBA U-23 UPDATE

  • The Cuban team arrived March 20 into Nashville, less than 48 hours before kickoff.
  • Seven players from Cuba’s U-23 side are teammates with La Habana of Compeonato Nacional de Futbol.

USA Olympic History Against Cuba: The U.S. is 1-0-1 against Cuba during Olympic Qualifying, most recently earning a lopsided 6-0 victory on March 22, 2012, in Group A play at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The other appearance between the two sides, the USA and Cuba played to a 1-1 draw on March 11, 2008, in Olympic Qualifying at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Freddy Adu scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the 14th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Cuba’s Roberto Linares found the equalizer in the 42nd minute and both sides played a scoreless second half. Linares picked up a second yellow card in the 84th minute, but the USA could not find the go-ahead score with the brief one-man advantage.

CUBA U-23 ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Odisnel Cooper, 12-Julio Pichardo (La Tunas)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Yoisel Zalazar (Camaguey), 4-Dairo Macias, 5-Renay Malblanche (Holguin), 9-Felix Guerra (Granma), 15-Arturo Diz Pe (La Habana), 17-Dayron Blanco (Las Tunas)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 3-Yosmel De Armas, 6-Osay Martinez (La Habana), 7-Ricardo Pena (La Habana), 8-Jorge Farinas (La Habana), 10-Maikel Chang (La Habana), 13-Carlos Domingo Francisco (Santiago)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Daniel Saez (La Habana), 14-Aricheell Hernandez, 16-Heviel Cordoves (La Habana), 18-Maykel Reyes
Head Coach: Raul Triana Gonzalez

* * *

IN FOCUS: CANADA U-23 MNT
Canadian Soccer Association
Founded: 1912 (Joined FIFA in 1913)

CANADA U-23 UPDATE

  • Seven players among the Canada U-23 roster are playing for MLS teams: Babayele Sodade of Seattle Sounders FC, Doneil Henry and Matt Stinson of Toronto FC, Bryce Alderson and Russell Teibert of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carl Haworth and Evan James of the Montreal Impact.
  • Canada’s Kyle Bekker completed his third season at Boston College in 2011, leading the team with seven assists and tied for the team lead with eight goals. Boston College advanced to the ACC Championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Rutgers in the first round.
  • Midfielder Samuel Piette and forward Randy Edwini-Bonsu have played with Canada’s senior team.

USA Olympic History Against Canada: The U.S. has faced Canada eight times in Olympic Qualifying, posting a 4-3-1 record. The USA most recently dropped a 2-0 decision against Canada on Saturday, March 24, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. It marked the Canada U-23 team’s first win against the U.S. in nearly 20 years.

During the qualification for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the U.S. put itself in a huge hole with a 2-0 loss on May 23, 1987. But one week later, needing three goals to avoid elimination, the USA found the back of the net just enough en route to a 3-0 win against Canada on May 30, 1987. Paul Krumpe had two goals and Jim Gabarra contributed the team’s third goal. The U.S. would win the next four matches and advanced to the 1988 Olympics.

The U.S. took on Canada in back-to-back games in 1992 Barcelona qualifying. The U.S. earned a 3-1 win against Canada on May 10, with Steve Snow scoring twice and Claudio Reyna adding another. The USA wrapped up qualifying with a 2-1 loss on May 17 as Snow scored the only U.S. goal, but the team already had qualified for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Canada and the U.S. played to a scoreless draw on April 25, 2000, during qualifying for the Sydney Olympics. Bobby Convey scored two goals on Feb. 5, 2004, to lead the U.S. to a 2-0 win against Canada during Athens Olympic Qualifying. And in 2008, the USA trounced Canada 3-0 on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., clinching a spot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Freddy Adu had two goals and Sacha Kljestan added a goal for the USA.

CANADA U-23 ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Adam Janssen (Minnesota Stars), 18-Michal Misiewicz (FC Edmonton)
DEFENDERS (3): 2-Andrés Fresenga (Racing Club de Montevideo), 4-Nana Attakora-Gyan (unattached), 5-Doneil Henry (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 3-Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 6-Kyle Bekker (Boston College), 7-Bryce Alderson (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), 8-Samuel Piette (FC Metz), 9-Shaun Saiko (FC Edmonton), 11-Matt Stinson (Toronto FC), 14-Philippe Davies (unattached), 15-Sherif El-Masri (Courts Young Lions), 16-Drew Beckie (unattached)
FORWARDS (6): 10-Marcus Haber (St. Johnstone FC), 12-Babayele Sodade (Seattle Sounders FC), 13-Lucas Cavallini (Nacional), 17-Carl Haworth (Montreal Impact), 19-Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Eintracht Braunsweig), 20-Evan James (Montreal Impact)
Head coach: Tony Fonseca

* * *

LAST TIME
On the field for USA:
March 24, 2012 – LP Field – Nashville, Tenn. – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
USA       0
Canada 2 Henry 58; Cavallini 83

USA: 1-Bill Hamid; 5-Zarek Valentin, 2-Ike Opara, 4-Perry Kitchen,13-Jorge Villafaña; 6-Jared Jeffrey (16-Amobi Okugo, 76), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona (14-Joe Gyau, 46); 7-Freddy Adu (capt.),12-Teal Bunbury (15-Terrence Boyd, 56), 11-Brek Shea
Substitutions not Used: 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 17-Tony Taylor, 18-Sean Johnson, 19-Sheanon Williams, 20-Michael Stephens
Head Coach: Caleb Porter

CAN: 18-Michal Misiewicz; 2-Andres Fresenga (11-Matthew Stinson, 68), 4-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 5-Doneil Henry, 3-Russell Teibert; 6-Kyle Bekker, 8-Samuel Piette, 14-Philippe Davies; 12-Babayele Sodade (20-Evan James, 22), 13-Lucas Cavallini, 19-Randy Edwini-Bonsu (15-Sherif El-Masri, 90+3)
Subs not used: 1-Adam Janssen, 7-Bryce Alderson, 9-Shaun Saiko,10-Marcus Haber, 16-Drew Beckie, 17-Carl Haworth
Head Coach: Tony Fonseca

LAST TIME
On the field for EL SALVADOR:
March 24, 2012 – LP Field – Nashville, Tenn. – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
El Salvador 4 Blanco 4; Flores 53, 68; Menjivar 68
Cuba           0

SLV: 18-Yimy Cuellar, 2-Milton Molina (6-Elman Rivas, 73), 4-Xavier Garcia (capt.), 5-Alexander Mendoza, 8-Diego Chavarria, 10-Jaime Alas (12-Edwin Sanchez, 81), 13-Alexander Larin, 14-Herbert Sosa (9-Isidro Gutierrez, 46), 16-Richard Menjivar, 17-Lester Blanco, 20-Andres Flores
Subs not used: 1-Diego Cuellar, 3-Marlon Martinez, 7-Dustin Corea, 15-Jorge Moran, 19-Darwin Ceren
Head Coach: Mauricio Alfaro

CUB: 1-Odisnel Cooper, 2-Yoisel Salazar, 3-Yosmel De Armas, 5-Renay Malblanche, 6-Osay Martinez, 8-Jorge Farinas (7-Ricardo Pena), 10-Maikel Chang, 13-Carlos Domingo Francisco (capt.), 14-Aricheell Hernandez (11-Daniel Saez, 61), 16-Heviel Cordoves, 17-Dayron Blanco
Subs not used: 9-Felix Guerra, 12-Julio Pichardo, 15-Arturo Diz Pe
Head Coach: Raul Triana Gonzalez

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