Published: March 23, 2012
The U.S. U23 Men’s National Team dismantled Cuba 6-0 on the opening day of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying on Thursday. Joe Corona recorded a hat trick on top of a very impressive showing in the attacking midfielder role. Juan Agudelo, Freddy Adu, and an own goal made up the rest of the score.
In the earlier game, Canada and El Salvador played to a 0-0 draw. The U.S. will face Canada on Saturday with the potential of securing a berth into the semifinal round with a win.
Bill Hamid, 6 - Not very much to do for the U.S. goalkeeper. Made all of one save during the 90 minutes, a simple catch off a deflected shot.
Kofi Sarkodie, 5 - The right back might have spent more time in Cuba’s half than his own. Didn’t look particularly sharp and had a couple of sloppy moments. Could open the door for Williams to play on the right in the group stage.
Joe CoronaIke Opara, 6
- From a defensive perspective, there wasn’t much for Opara to do. While there were a couple wobbles during the night, Opara was solid and steady at the back.
Perry Kitchen, 6 - There were moments when Kitchen was caught on the wrong shoulder of his mark, but those moments were few and far between. Cuba rarely had the ball in the attacking half.
Zarek Valentin, 6 - He has less to do in the first half than Hamid. In the second half, he was more involved in the attack but he was not that effective with the ball on his feet.
Jared Jeffrey, 6 - In a game that was basically out of hand after the first 20 minutes, Jeffrey had little to do in the middle of the field especially defensively.
Mix Diskerud, 6 - Diskerud’s biggest fault was the services he had on corner kicks. With six chances in the first half, Diskerud failed to supply one adequate service, but he did well in the run of play.
Joe Corona, 8 - The Club Tijuana man was the obvious choice as man of the match. With his nifty touches and well-placed shots, Corona sliced through a terrible Cuba defense and notched the hat trick. It was easy to see why head coach Caleb Porter gave Corona the #10 jersey.
Freddy Adu, 7 - Starting on the right flank, Adu put in an energetic and effective performance. He grabbed an impressive goal from distance as well, continuing his effectiveness in youth tournaments.
Juan Agudelo, 7 - Agudelo drew a red card, scored on a beautiful cross, and hounded the Cuba defense all night. It was a good 45-minute outing from the New York Red Bulls striker in the #9 role.
Brek Shea, 7 - The left winger provided a great assist on Agudelo’s goal and had the cross that led to the own goal, but he was a bit too selfless in the final third. There were times with the FC Dallas star should have been aggressive in front of the net.
Teal Bunbury, 5 - There were moments when Bunbury appeared lost on the field. He definitely didn't show that he deserves a starting spot in his 45 minutes of play.
Joe Gyau, 6 - Entering for Shea with around 30 minutes left in the game, Gyau showed flashes of his quickness and speed on the flank. One of his mazy runs created a goal scoring chance, but for Gyau it was mostly a quiet evening.
Amobi Okugo, 6 - There was not a lot for Okugo to do, but he did show some toughness on the tackle when called upon in limited chances.