Claudio Reyna joined Caleb Porter on the bench for the United States’ opening match in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and they both liked what they saw. Porter lined the team up in his 4-3-3 with Hamid in goal; Sarkodie, Kitchen, Opara, and Valentin in front of him; Jeffrey playing the defensive role in a midfield triangle with Corona and Diskerud; and then a forward line of Adu, Agudelo, and Shea. The tournament allows a full bench, meaning the rest of the squad was available as substitutes: Terrence Boyd, Teal Bunbury, Joe Gyau, Sean Johnson, Amobi Okugo, Michael Stephens, Tony Taylor, Jorge Villafana, and Sheanon Williams.
The US was in control of the game from the outset, dictating play and probing for holes in Cuba‘s defense. That hole came in the 11th minute when Joe Corona opened the scoring. Freddy Adu put a served a free kick into the box and Juan Agudelo rose to challenge but Cuba’s keeper (Odisnel Cooper) came out to punch. The ball fell to Corona in the box, who took it off his check and neatly side footed into the back of the net. Continue reading