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Group-Leading U.S. U-23 MNT Faces Canada on Saturday

The U-23 Men’s National Team shoots for its second group victory when it takes on Canada at 6 p.m. CT Saturday, March 24, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Live coverage is on Universal Sports Network, mun2 and CONCACAF.com.

© John Dorton/www.isiphotos.com

Brek Shea

IN THE IMAGE: Brek Shea and the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team host Canada on Saturday at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team

2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Group A at LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

March 23, 2012

Coming off a dominant 6-0 victory against Cuba on Thursday, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team faces Canada at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 24, to resume Group A play of 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The match is 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 U.S. can take the next step in its quest to earn a berth to the 2012 London Olympics with a victory against Canada on Saturday night. A win would guarantee advancement to the semifinals, which will be played on March 31 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. With a win, the U.S. would have six points from two games and would finish no worse than second place in the group. The top two teams from Group A and B advance to the semifinals in Kansas City, with the semifinal winners advancing to the 16-team Olympic tournament.

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

*CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Group A Standings and Schedule – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

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

Saturday, March 24
El Salvador vs. Cuba, 3:30 p.m. ET (Universal Sports Network/Telemundo/CONCACAF.com)
USA vs. Canada , 6 p.m. ET(Universal Sports Network/mun2/CONCACAF.com)

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

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 (6): 9-Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), 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 Statistics
2012 U.S. U-23 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Packet

Canada and El Salvador played to a scoreless draw to open group play on Thursday at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Both teams had their offensive chances, but El Salvador had the bulk of the stronger scoring attempts, out-shooting Canada 13-6. Canada goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz made a game-high three saves as each team earned a point but quickly fell behind the USA’s group-leading six-goal differential.

In the nightcap, the U.S. defeated Cuba 6-0 in its first group match, led by Joe Corona’s three-goal effort. It was the first USA hat trick in Olympic Qualifying since Alecko Eskandarian’s three-goal effort during a 4-3 victory against Honduras on Feb. 7, 2004. Juan Agudelo contributed a header goal in the 37th minute as Brek Shea assisted from the left side, and the U.S. benefited from an Arturo Diz Pe own goal in the 43rd minute to go into halftime with a comfortable 4-0 lead. Freddy Adu had a 25-yard strike that found the back of the net in the 62nd minute for a 5-0 advantage. It was his fifth career goal in U-23 qualifying competition. Cuba played most of the match shorthanded when Dairo Macias was issued a red card in the 19th minute for elbowing Agudelo in the face.

It was the first victory for the U.S. against Cuba in Olympic Qualifying. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw on March 11, 2008, during qualification for the Beijing Olympics in the only previous appearance.

Thursday’s 6-0 U.S. victory against Cuba was the most lopsided win since the team defeated Panama 7-1 on July 20, 1991, in qualifying for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Those six-goal margins tie for the second-largest in the USA’s Olympic Qualifying history. The largest was an 8-0 victory against Haiti on June 23, 1991, when Alexi Lalas, Curt Onalfo and Dante Washington each had two goals, and Claudio Reyna and Manny Lagos also contributed a goal.

On Friday night, Group B kicks off 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Opening matchups include Honduras against Panama (9 p.m. ET; mun2/CONCACAF.com) and Trinidad Tobago against Mexico (11:30 p.m. ET; Telemundo/CONCACAF.com).


  • 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.
  • 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.

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)

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: Olympic Qualifying, Episode 1
Podcast: Zarek Valentin Podcast: Frisco, Texas, Episode 2
Video: Behind the Crest: It’s Finally Here
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

CALEB PORTER FACT FILE: U.S. Under-23 head coach Caleb Porter is in his first full calendar year in charge of the U-23 Men’s National Team. Below are some of his past accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Porter was named the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team head coach in October of 2011.
  • Porter is the head coach of the University of Akron men’s soccer team, where in 2010 he led the Zips to their first national championship in any sport.
  • Porter is 105-17-14 with Akron through six seasons, and he reached the century mark in fewer games (126) than Hall of Fame coaches Bruce Arena (140) of Virginia and Sigi Schmid (131) of UCLA.
  • Porter has recruited and developed 14 players who have been drafted into Major League Soccer in the past five years at Akron alone, including No. 1 overall selection Steve Zakuani (2009), No. 4 pick Teal Bunbury (2010) and No. 2 selection Darlington Nagbe (2011). Akron set an MLS record with five of the first eight selections in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and seven draftees overall.
  • Porter was an assistant coach at his alma mater Indiana for six years, beginning in 2000. The Hoosiers won five Big Ten Conference championships during that six-year stretch.
  • As a player, Porter won four Big Ten titles with Indiana and became only the second junior in Hoosiers history to captain the men’s soccer team. As a senior, Porter was the runner-up for the 1997 Hermann Trophy. Porter graduated from IU in 1997 with a degree in sports management.


Canadian Soccer Association
Founded: 1912 (Joined FIFA in 1913)


  • 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 seven times in Olympic Qualifying, posting a 4-2-1 record. 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.

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

* * *

Salvadoran Football Association (Federacion Salvadorena de Futbol)
Founded: 1935 (Joined FIFA in 1938)


  • 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.

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

* * *

Football Association of Cuba (Asociacion de Futbol de Cuba)
Founded: 1924 (Joined FIFA in 1932)


  • 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.

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

* * *

On the field for USA:
March 22, 2012 – LP Field – Nashville, Tenn. – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
USA   6 Joe Corona 11, 40, 88; Juan Agudelo 37; Freddy Adu 62; own goal (Arturo Diz Pe) 43
Cuba  0

USA : 1-Bill Hamid; 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara, 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Jared Jeffrey (16-Amobi Okugo, 64), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (capt.), 9-Juan Agudelo (12-Teal Bunbury, 46), 11-Brek Shea (14-Joe Gyau, 57)
Subs not used: 13-Jorge Villafana, 15-Terrence Boyd, 17-Tony Taylor, 18-Sean Johnson, 19-Sheanon Williams, 20-Michael Stephens
Head Coach: Caleb Porter

CUB : 1-Odisnel Cooper, 2-Yoisel Salazar, 4-Dairo Macias, 5-Renay Malblanche, 6-Osay Martinez, 8-Jorge Farinas (15-Arturo Diz Pe, 24), 10-Maikel Chang, 13-Carlos Domingo Francisco (capt.), 14-Aricheell Hernandez (7-Ricardo Pena, 68), 16-Heviel Cordoves, 17-Dayron Blanco
Subs not used: 3-Yosmel De Armas, 9-Felix Guerra, 11-Daniel Saez, 12-Julio Pichardo, 18-Maykel Reyes
Head coach: Raul Triana Gonzalez

On the field for CANADA:
March 22, 2012 – LP Field – Nashville, Tenn. – CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
Canada       0
El Salvador 0

CAN: 18-Michal Misiewicz; 3-Russell Teibert, 16-Drew Beckie, 4-Nana Attakora-Gyan, 11-Matthew Stinson; 9-Shaun Saiko (19-Randy Edwini-Bonsu, 54), 6-Kyle Bekker, 7-Bryce Alderson (14-Philipe Davies, 75), 17-Carl Haworth; 20-Evan James (15-Sherif El-Masri, 60), 10-Marcus Haber
Subs not used: 1-Adam Janssen, 2-Andres Fresenga, 5-Doneil Henry, 8-Samuel Piette, 12-Babayele Sodade, 13-Lucas Cavallini
Head Coach: Tony Fonseca

SLV: 1-Yimy Cuellar; 13-Alexander Larin, 2-Milton Molina, 4-Xavier Garcia (capt.), 5-Alexander Mendoza; 10-Jaime Alas, 16-Richard Benjivar, 6-Elman Rivas (19-Darwin Ceren, 46), 9-Isidro Gutierrez (7-Dustin Corea, 62); 20-Andres Flores, 17-Lester Blanco (11-Jonathan Aguila, 71)
Subs not used: 1-Diego Cuellar, 3-Marlon Martinez, 7-Dustin Corea, 12-Edwin Sanchez, 14-Herbert Sosa, 15-Jorge Moran
Head Coach: Mauricio Alfaro

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