Early goals from Mario Rodriguez and Daniel Cuevas were all the U.S. Under 20 Men's National Team needed to secure passage to the final of the U20 CONCACAF Championship with a 2-0 win over Cuba on Friday.
After scoring twice in three minutes, the U.S. cruised and looked comfortable, as the once dangerous-looking Cubans failed to mount a serious challenge. The U20s will face host nation Mexico in Sunday's CONCACAF Championship on Sunday, March 3 at 7:00 pm EST.
GK Cody Cropper, 6: While he barely faced a shot on goal, Cropper had perhaps one of his best games of the tournament, rarely making a wrong decision in goal. Even made a great save on a set piece after the whistle had gone.
MF/D Dillon Serna, 6: Despite playing completely out of position, Serna acquitted himself well as a right back during the game’s first 70 minutes. Displayed some good moments in the midfield as well when he moved forward.
D Javan Torre, 5: Moving back into the starting lineup in a more natural role, Torre was solid but not spectacular. His distribution needs work still. He was too hasty to boot the ball long instead of looking to build and keep possession.
D Shane O’Neill, 7: Cuba hardly troubled the U.S. on the night, but when they did, especially toward the end of the game, O’Neill was there to clean it up, intercepting dangerous crosses on a number of occasion.
D Juan Ocegueda, 5: The Cubans mounted very few challenges on the night, though Ocegueda was beat a few times down the left flank.
MF Mikey Lopez, 7: The pick of the U.S. central midfielders, Lopez cleaned things up in the center of the park and buzzed around, hampering Cuba’s attack.
MF Wil Trapp, 5: There were a few sloppy moments from Trapp if you’re nit picking through each player’s performance, but on the whole it was a good night for the Crew midfielder.
MF Benji Joya, 6: Another good performance from Joya, including an assist on Rodriguez’s opening tally.
F Mario Rodriguez, 7: Pestered the Cuban back line for most of the game, and did very well to score when isolated against two defenders in the first ten minutes. Rodriguez won several one-on-one battles as well, beating defenders off the dribble often.
F Daniel Cuevas, 6: The diminutive forward wasn’t as influential as he’s shown the ability to be in this tournament during his shift, but his long distance strike capped off a perfect opening 15 minutes for the U.S. His second half departure with an injury will be a concern for the coaching staff.
F Danny Garcia, 6: Interchanged well with the forward line and had some bright attacking moments.
F Brandon Allen, 5: Had two good looks at goal but couldn’t finish either of them in his 20 minute shift, his first significant minutes in the tournament.
D Boyd Okwuonu, 6: Entered for Cuevas and didn’t really have much to do, aside from being on the receiving end of a horrible challenge from a Cuban attacker.