Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Cuba (Match Night Commentary)

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The U.S. Men's Under-23 national team takes the first step toward qualification for the summer Olympics tonight against Cuba in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in Nashville (9pm, Universal Sports Network/mun2).

The Americans enter the tournament as the favorite to win, and tonight's opening match should give us the first indications of just how strong this U.S. team is.

We don't know much about Cuba, other than the fact it is a team consisting of domestic-based players. The Cubans qualified out of the Caribbean region, ahead of the likes of Jamaica.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight's commentary is after the jump):



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107 Responses to Olympic Qualifying: USA vs. Cuba (Match Night Commentary)

  1. Seisco says:

    is mun2 available for free tonight? or does anyone know where to watch this online?

  2. Kent says:

    universalsports.com or concacaf.com

  3. wilyboy says:

    Two players who might want to impress are Jared Jeffrey and Joe Corona, as their spots out of this lineup seem to be more in jeopardy than, say, Boyd and Gyau. Let’s get this started!

  4. 2tone says:

    Well both Canada and El Salvador look like pooh. Not to worried about teh U.S. not finishing in first place after watching Canada and El Salvador stink it up.

  5. Isaac says:

    If Gyau is so awesome, then why would we want to risk him getting injured against Cuba? Think people…

  6. Indigo Montoya says:

    Big ups to those who showed up – however, not surprisingly, few seem to have showed up.


  7. SD says:

    my screen is blocked from following the commentary. cover it live issue….

  8. Jamie Z. says:

    Good possession and some really nice balls over the top thus far.

  9. Jamie Z. says:

    I showed up and it’s 2AM where I am in Czech Republic. USA expats represent.

  10. Jamie Z. says:


  11. ericJ says:

    As simple as it was (seemed?), it was a cool finish by Corona

  12. wilyboy says:

    Gotta love Porter. He’s just talking tactics like it’s all part the plan.

  13. marco says:

    Great goal by Corona. As many have reported, except fan fans, the US backline is shaky.

  14. ericJ says:

    Cuba red card… game over.

  15. Jamie Z. says:

    Sure looked like a red to me.

  16. robert daniels says:

    Not like that, I want to win big everything being even. Stupid red card.

  17. Ryan says:

    Anyone notice the mismatching Cuba uniforms, haha

  18. Joe Creighton says:

    Good call ref. There’s no place for that in soccer. That piece of ?!&$ had that coming.

  19. robert daniels says:

    Brek should have taken that

  20. hoosh says:

    Game isn’t over yet, but a win is a win. Not the US’ fault that the Cuban player lost focus and got a straight red.

  21. ericJ says:

    and if he missed it we would be saying he should had slotted it through.

  22. Ezra says:

    So glad I get mun2, since Universal Sports is no longer available. Too bad I don’t get it in HD though.

  23. sir coble says:

    jesus, concacaf tv and universal sport are not working!

    yes, that is a prayer

  24. ericJ says:

    Every time I look up we have like 6 attacking players all in a bunch.

  25. Red White & Blue Porker says:

    So much back passing and side passing…zzzzzzzz….

  26. chris says:

    Mix has looked weak in the middle plays way too frantic

  27. ericJ says:

    Really? he seems to be the only one inciting play through the middle.

  28. Jamie Z. says:

    And the floodgates are open.

  29. ericJ says:

    Let it rain…

  30. ericJ says:

    Goal Cuba!!

  31. KutamaObama says:

    Cuba is getting routed by us (US)

  32. ericJ says:

    Outlaws need to be louder to make up for lack of people. :)

  33. predicto says:

    Duskurud best for me in the 1st half.

  34. ericJ says:

    He kept pushing the attack.

  35. TomG says:

    Agudelo looks so awesome with his head. Been a long time since we had a true aerial weapon (since McBride? Can’t think of anyone else). He just seems to have that natural instinct, body control and technique in the air. Even on the first goal, he played a part with his noggin.

  36. ericJ says:

    It helps noone was marking him, but it was solid.

  37. ericJ says:

    YES! we get to watch the halftime stadium ads on the big screen!

  38. marco says:

    Make mine a Corona

  39. TomG says:

    I vote for his CM partner, Corona. Joe C looked very dangerous every time he touched the ball.

  40. concacaf tv is working for me — my husband even set it up so the internet fee is on our big tv. Thanks, honey!

    Go USA!! 4 zip at half time

  41. wilyboy says:

    Joe Corona’s going to make Porter’s life difficult if/when they qualify. In fact, I really don’t want to tell any of these players to go home.

  42. ThaDeuce says:

    Adu needs to stay in position. Besides two serious lapses, great job pressing on an inferior team by the USA, can’t wait till next game! hell, next half!

  43. robert daniels says:

    I kinda feel bad for Cuba

  44. Marlon says:

    The thought of playing against Joe Gyau as a sub when you have tired legs is kind of horrifying.

  45. Joel says:

    yep, go usa!

  46. Kelly_Goosecock says:

    Corona’s second goal was a karate kick.

  47. SD says:

    anyone else experiencing a problem with cover it live blocking out the commentary?

  48. predicto says:

    USA up 4-0 over hapless Cuba at halftime – Lots to be happy about and great win coming. So why don’t I feel the same joy as when I was watching the friendly vs Mexico? Yes, a win, but the chemistry doesn’t seem to be there tonight. Or am I too greedy to want it all?

  49. KutamaObama says:

    I am predicting a 7-0 scoreline….Touchdown and a field goal…..hehehehehe

  50. TomG says:

    Yes, true. He has yet to show the ability to consistently use his body and strength to create space and elevate in the crowd. He typically uses his speed to create space, but for a guy so young, he is very impressive with his head, particularly since it’s a skill guys often pick up later in their careers.

  51. ThaDeuce says:

    great point. Seriously, who does altidore replace out of the forward line of shea-agudelo-adu

    I guess subs….

    Though I hate to say it, because I am a big fan after the Gold Cup performance, but if I had to get rid of one of those 5 judging on the first half it would be Adu. Luckily they will all likely stay for the long haul. Adu hasn’t stayed in position, forced dribbled too much, and called for forced bad passes. Adu needs to stay in possession, even if he isn’t getting the ball, just let it flow. Your team is winning.

    On the sub, I’ll miss watching agudelo, but good to save him. Let’s see if boon-boo-ray can prove me wrong, i think he sux. That’s who altidore should replace!

  52. pd says:

    what the heck is up with Shea’s hair?

  53. ericJ says:

    It is blonde with some red color in it.

  54. wilyboy says:

    I don’t know if Freddy’s position is set. I think he floats out wide and cuts inside at his own discretion. What a pass by Freddy!

  55. ThaDeuce says:

    Hard to keep the chemistry up when it is so easy to dribble. I agree and am afraid that playing cuba first will throw off our game, too easy. You know how you swing a bat with a donut on it before you get in the box… yeah, cuba is like the anti-donut.

  56. TomG says:

    Love the domination by USA, but how bad is this Cuba team?

  57. ericJ says:

    I love hearing Porter scream out tactics…

  58. ThaDeuce says:

    You may be right. He is waaaaay too talented to not follow any coaching directives like staying in position. Must be a floating spot tonight. Though everyone else seemed fairly static, at least in the first half. He looks like he is ball following, but again, you might be right.

  59. predicto says:

    From what it sounds like, I’d say Porter is pissed as how they’re playing.

  60. predicto says:

    Yeah – they ought to take the rest of this game as training, one touch only no matter the space and you gotta pass the ball into the goal.

  61. ericJ says:

    Gyau look dangerous….

  62. KutamaObama says:

    Damn, Gyau is fast…..

  63. ericJ says:

    and Adu rips it…

  64. KutamaObama says:


  65. ericJ says:

    and good touch… and vision…

  66. simms21 says:

    ok i know its cuba but our kids our nice!!!!

  67. Isaac says:

    Well done Freddy!!!

  68. marco says:

    there is nobody on the pitch who can stay with Gyau

  69. ThaDeuce says:

    Great goal by Freddy!!! I love this team. They all seem so supportive, so happy for each other. Don’t mind subbing and what not. The Porter philosophy is a keeper.

  70. ThaDeuce says:

    Here is another point. I worry that Altidore, though arguably much more talented than most of these players, might not fit in mentality and chemistry wise with this team! They may be better keeping it the same!!!

    What do you think? Any credence to those thoughts, or is the jump in quality too good to pass up?

  71. predicto says:

    Am I crazy or is the USA looking better without Shea in there? They seem quicker, more one touches, eye on the attack, more focused going forward than back?

  72. wilyboy says:

    I think Cuba just doesn’t have any fitness.

  73. wilyboy says:

    Two things:

    1) Take off Mix, for rest and protection.

    2) I hope Hamid has some saves before the Semi final (I no longer believe it’s possible not to win another game). He needs some exposure before Honduras or Mexico comes into town.

  74. fischy says:

    They can do better than Mixx. Corona will make the side, the only question being whether he starts. Not sure I’m seeing enough from Gyau to justify a spot

  75. hush says:

    Adu once again shows his quality on the field. I wonder what ever happen to the Adu haters that always try arguing his lack of skill on “D’.

    Shea has a lot of work to do to become the player that Gyau is right now. Skill wise, Gyau is 2 steps ahead of him, no question. Shea doesn’t have the same type of Tornado threat as Gyau. He is too explosive on offense and very comfortable with the ball. My vote goes to Gyau.

    Gyau & Adu are going to be the Concacaf killers for years to come.

  76. predicto says:

    Agree on Diskurud. He’s a (the?) key.

  77. adub says:

    2 things also….

    1. Freddy Adu has the best dribbles in the USMNT

    2. Corona plays great in the 4-3-3 Star in the making

  78. wilyboy says:

    I’m more worried about the overaged players than Jozy and Chandler (Williams is really dressing, in my opinion). Jozy knows Adu, Diskerud, and Shea very well, and his movement has greatly improved. I’m confident he’s a starter. As for Chandler, him and Sarkodie are actually fairly similar, if one of them was a super hero.

    But as for adding a veteran defender, or Bradley, or Donovan, I don’t know. But I trust Porter in his decisions.

  79. PD says:

    or 11 players on the field..

  80. wilyboy says:

    Better than their best player?


  81. jon says:

    God damn, Joe…

  82. GSScasual says:

    Highlight players:


    In that order… (if gyau played more, he would have easily took the 1 spot)

  83. predicto says:

    Great scoring from corona, but my mom is diskurud. He made the attack.

  84. marco says:

    “… who does altidore replace out of the forward line of shea-agudelo-adu,
    agudelo, and bunbury gets dropped

  85. Marlon says:

    Did you watch this game? Shea set up two goals (nearly three). Joe Gyau came on and showed some flare on players who were already gassed and while looking good had no impact on the scoreboard. I’m a Gyau fan and I would’ve liked to have seen him start as much as the next guy, but calm down a little bit.

  86. 2tone says:

    Uhm, Diskerud was clearly masterful tonight. Whatever you are smoming I think you need to stop.

  87. Withdrawn Striker says:

    First time I’ve seen a lot of these guys play. I was keying on Diskerud most of the game, and I like him. He’s smart. He passes well. He looked creative tonight, although the opposition was weak. Seemed like he was the designated distributor for all offense.

  88. boosted335 says:

    uhhh what?

  89. Brett says:

    Shea was the lowlight for me, but he did have some moments. He just ruins attack after attack with dumb little flicks and lingering in offside positions. Gyau is a special player and Corona looks as poised on the ball and in the box as any player I’ve watched.

    There must be a standing order from Klinsmann to start Shea in all US matches.

  90. boosted335 says:

    and made you apparently…?

  91. 2tone says:

    HHAHAHAHHA- You have got to be kidding right. Gyau very talented, Shea equally if not more talented. Gyau is running at a tired defense. Just calm it down ther guy. Shea set up two goals there pumpkin.

  92. Vic says:

    Agreed. Agreed. Great points!

  93. 2tone says:

    Defense was a little shaky at times, and Sarkodie in particular in teh first half. Good way to start a tournament regardless of the circumstances of Cuba going down to ten men. A team has to punish the opposing for going down to ten men and that is what the U.S. did. Impressed by Corona, Diskerud, Adu, Shea, Agudelo and Gyau. Not to impressed with Bunbury’s performance. He has a lead foot at crucial times. Would like to see Boyd get on the field against Canada. Okugo was a more forward thinking DCM compared to Jeffrey. Great game and lets take it to Canada who looked like pooh against El Salvador.

  94. Eurosnob says:

    Corona’s starting spot is safe, particularly after tonight’s performance. Teams don’t normally assign no. 10 jersey to a player whose spot in the line up is in jeopardy. Corona’s performance was stellar tonight, and not just because he scored three times. His composure and link up play were excellent.

  95. Eurosnob says:

    Jozy plays in 4-3-3 formation on a Dutch team so there should not be a big adjustment to the style of play. As for the chemistry issues, I think that Altidore will be fine. Altidore previously played with Adu on the U20 team that reached U20 WC quarterfinals, beating Brazil (with Pato and Marcelo) and Uruguay (with Suarez). He also plays with Shea and Agudelo for the first national team. He is a young guy like the others and after a couple of camps their chemistry should be fine.

  96. GSScasual says:

    *Agudelo (not altidore)

    mary jane talkin

  97. CroCajun says:

    I’ll agree that Jozy isn’t much in the aerial department, but Deuce is masterful.

  98. CroCajun says:

    Your mom is a hell of a player.

  99. CplDaniel says:

    Maybe he likes Red Stripe?

  100. Hush says:

    I think your the one that needs to calm down.lol If you know anything about Futbol you can clearly see Gyau superiority to Shea. Gyau played against a tired Cuba team?lol … Say that to the Mexican Futbol press or the Mex-sub23 team. I believe Shea is a great player, but technical ability & the ability to create space and scoring chances, Shea is way behind Gyau. It’s tatatatata clear as it can be.

    If Gyau would have started the game, I believe Cuba would have been playing with 8 players. 😉

  101. Hush says:

    Shea didn’t against a Cuban team, so relax with that noise as well. I know you have high hopes in Shea, but clearly you are clueless in regards to Gyau and what he brings to the left. Just like I said for years about Adu, I will say it for this new comer, papa…. Gyau is a better offensive and technical player than Shea. Gyau has more to offer. I highly doubt Shea could have pressured a sub-23 mex team like Gyau did with them. I think Shea is a decent player, but he is being overrated just a bit lately. He is too clumsy at times, and can’t take on players technically, he must do it with speed. Not the case with Gyau. Gyau is the only few players we have that knows what to do with the ball before receiving it. Adu, Clint, and Gyau. Put that en la parede PAPA!!!

  102. GW says:

    ” He typically uses his speed to create space, ”

    If you have speed that is what it is for.

    “but for a guy so young, he is very impressive with his head, particularly since it’s a skill guys often pick up later in their careers.”

    What makes you say that? Players get to be better overall as they gain experience but that applies to shooting, passing, tackling and positioning not just aerial abilty.There have been plenty of young players who are excellent in the air.

    You should also watch Fulham. They have this American named Clint who is about as good in the air as McBride was, though he is not perhaps quite as strong.

  103. GW says:

    This was a crap Cuban team. You are being just a little premature.

  104. GW says:

    Maybe not crazy but look at it this wayShea left Cuba was demoralized, down 4-0, down a man and exhausted.

    And Porter is not known for taking his foot off the gas.

  105. GW says:

    Gyau and Shea are different types of players.

    Shea is as regarded as he is because he has developed a knack for scoring and creating goals.

    Gyau doesn’t do that. He may get there eventually but time will tell.

    As for Freddy,he’s not out of the woods yet.

    After all this time, he is still more about potential than actual production.

    Until he finds a sane club situation for himself, he is still at risk in terms of being a bust.

  106. Goalscorer24 says:

    Good result, but the US team shouldn’t make too much of it. Cuba was a weak team and then got even weaker when they went down to 10. US needs to stay focused!

  107. Withdrawn Striker says:

    I like Shea, but let’s see Gyau start vs. Canada.

    I also like Diskerud, but agree his corners were bad.