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Marcinkowski starts, Yueill scores winner for U.S. in Olympic qualifying win

Earthquakes duo step up to get a needed result.

Dominican Republic v USA - 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

The U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team endured a disappointing first half, but surged in the second to beat Dominican Republic 4-0 Sunday in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico.

This time around, two San Jose Earthquakes players — midfielder Jackson Yueill and goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski — got the start for the U.S., Marcinkowski getting called in for his first action in the tournament and maintaining the U.S.’s perfect defensive record through two group-stage games.

But Yueill gets the highlights on the day, as he scored the breakthrough goal at the hour mark to give the U.S. the lead, one they would not relinquish.

Yueill doesn’t score a lot of goals but he does have a knack for making a trailing run and cleaning up from time to time. The other goals on the day came from Hassani Dotson (with a brace) and Djordje Mihailovic.

Yueill, the U.S. captain, ended up being substituted in the 80th minute, presumably to keep him fresh. Head coach Jason Kreis rotated about half of his lineup for this game, but I would still expect Yueill to be out there for the next game. On Marcinkowski? Hard to say, I wouldn’t be shocked if Kreis keeps moving his starting goalkeeper around.

The U.S. are next set to play their group-stage finale, but it’s a doozy, against Mexico, on Wednesday. If Mexico win their game Sunday against Costa Rica, then both the U.S. and Mexico will already have qualified for the knockouts, and they will be one step away from the Olympics. Remember, in this tournament, you have to win the first knockout game (the semifinal) to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, so after the Mexico game, the next game is the important one.

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