The U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team kicked off the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament Thursday against Costa Rica in Guadalajara, Mexico, winning 1-0.
San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jackson Yueill started and went the full 90 as captain for the Americans.
After Jesus Ferreira hit the post just two minutes in, it looked like the U.S. would be very lively, but both teams basically went on a track meet for the first half-hour, trading possession and trying to take a quick lead.
Ferreira found the breakthrough in the 35th minute, as Sam Vines’ centering pass squirted out to the FC Dallas man, who hit a strong one-timer to make it 1-0.
From there, Costa Rica pretty much dominated possession and the U.S. mostly defended. In the end, they did what they needed to, even if it was nervy at times.
The other Earthquakes player on the U.S. roster, GK JT Marcinkowski, was an unused substitute in the win, with David Ochoa putting in a star performance for the U.S., it must be said. Perhaps Jason Kreis will do some rotation but Ochoa probably cemented his status as starter for this team, frankly.
The U.S. will be back in action Sunday, when they face Dominican Republic in another must-win game in the tournament. If they win that game, they’ll likely book their place to the knockout round before their final group stage game against Mexico next week.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.