BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, March 23, 2012
The USA cruised to a dominate 6-0 win over Cuba in the opening game of the Olympic qualifying.

Here are the player ratings for the match

Bill Hamid - 6 - He did everything he needed to do to get a shutout even if it was very little.

Kofi Sakodie - 5.5 - The former Akron fullback tried to get forward more in the second half but struggled with his final ball.

Ike Opara - 6 - Opara was the best starting defender for the US. He looked strong and composed but wasn't tested enough

Perry Kitchen - 5.5 - Kitchen looked a little rusty to start and gave away a very dangerous free kick early going.

Zarek Valentin - 5.5 - Valentin is not a natural left back and he was untested on defense. Also, he didn't really push forward into the attack.

Jared Jeffrey - 6 - Was good in hold up play and broke up what little Cuba offered trying to get forward.

Mix Diskerud - 7 - He made good use of his skills and technical ability. He created a lot of offense and had two assists to Joe Corona. His corner kicks were very poor, however.

Joe Corona - 8 - Mexico will be unhappy to let Corona leave their program after he was cut from their U-22 team last year. Corona shined and was consistently dangerous. Well earned hat trick.

Freddy Adu - 7.5 - The US captain is the most experienced American player internationally at the youth level and it showed. He was always dangerous and his goal was spectacular.

Brek Shea - 7 - The FC Dallas winger was a nightmare to defend and his final passes were always dangerous. His magnificent pass set up the Agudelo goal and he was responsible for creating the own goal in the first hal.

Juan Agudelo - 6.5 - Agudelo was very dangerous and combined with Adu and Shea well. He should be well rested for the Canada game after only going 45 minutes.

The Subs

Teal Bunbury - 5.5 - The former Canadian player did not have as much of an impact. He should have finished his one great chance early in the second half on the pass from Adu.

Joe Gyau - 6.5 - The Hoffenheim winger was very energetic off the bench. He frequently beat the Cuban defense off the dribble and he was unlucky not to pick up an assist.

Amobi Okugo - 6 - Okugo looked promising off the bench but the game was over by the time he entered.
Saturday March 24, 2012 9:10 pm
@2tone. My laughable friend. The game vs. Canada shown who was right. Opara is a beast vs. chickens, but a chicken vs. beasts, and Adu was not able to change anything.
Saturday March 24, 2012 10:38 am
@ Jay - I was (hopefully) looking ahead to the Olympics this summer. I'm also trying to figure out which three over-age players might be used. Maybe a CB (Ream might be best fit due to his passing).
Saturday March 24, 2012 2:45 am
@obewan it would be nice to have all U-23 available, but the truth is that these qualifiers aren't during any fifa sanctioned international dates, so managers don't have to let their players go if they don't want to. Hence players like chandler and williams not being there. And plus both of those players are still trying to make solid places in their respected clubs so there is basically no way they would play for the usa unless it's with the senior team.
Friday March 23, 2012 3:15 pm
As I was watching last night, I couldn't help but wonder where guys like Chandler (Sarkodie?), D. Williams (Jeffrey?), Boyd and Altidore (? and ?) might fit into this can dream, right? I think S. Williams deserves a look, as well. This team has more talent, depth, and experience than any Olympic team I can recall. Fun to watch! Keep up the good work!
Friday March 23, 2012 1:42 pm
@Ilya thats laughable. I needed a laugh. Opara was a beast and Adu was a constant game changer. What makes one overrated anyway. According to whose logic. Yours? Anyways, a very good showing I like Gyau as the super sub, and I definitley would like to see Boyd get minutes against Canada. Agudelo picked up a knock, so there is strong possibility he doesn't start against Canada or even play. Gives Agudelo more time to heal.
Friday March 23, 2012 11:49 am
Adu, Opara, Valentin and Bunbury are overrated. I'd like to see Gyau instead of Adu for Canada.
Friday March 23, 2012 11:18 am
This was not that much of a test for the group but it was a good start to give them confidence. I am excited for the future of US Soccer knowing we have a good core of young talented players. Congrats on the win keep the momentum going!!

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