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Youth MNT Mar 24, 2021

U-23 USMNT battles Mexico tonight in Olympic Qualifying

USA-MEXICO FOR TOP SPOT IN GROUP A: After clinching a berth in the pivotal tournament semifinals with two victories to open the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team will aim to lock up the top spot in Group A vs. Mexico on Wednesday, March 24 (9:30 p.m. ET; FS1, TUDN). Regardless of result, the USA will play in the semifinals on Sunday, March 27 for a spot in the 2020 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament.

The USA used a second-half surge to power past Dominican Republic in its second match, scoring four goals after the break to secure its semifinal spot. The U-23 USMNT will look to carry that momentum into its clash with archrival Mexico which will be playing on home soil and also won its first two matches. Fans can follow the U.S. throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

USA SCHEDULE – CONCACAF MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING CHAMPIONSHIP

Date Opponent Venue Time (ET)/Result TV Info
Thursday, March 18 Costa Rica Estadio Jalisco; Guadalajara, Mexico W 1-0 FS1, TUDN
Sunday, March 21 Dominican Republic Estadio Akron; Zapopan, Mexico W 4-0 FS1, TUDN
Wednesday, March 24 Mexico Estadio Jalisco; Guadalajara, Mexico 9:30 p.m. FS1, TUDN

WATCH MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING: All of the USA’s group stage matches at the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship are being broadcast on FS1 and TUDN.

USA VS. MEXICO:

  • The U.S. is 2-0-1 vs. Mexico at Olympic qualifying since it became an Under-23 competition in 1992.
  • All-time, the USA is 2-5-3 all-time vs. Mexico at Concacaf Olympic qualifying. In addition, Mexico forfeited two matches vs. the U.S. in 1980 qualifying after fielding a professional player earlier in the competition, which was not permitted at that time.
  • Both the USA and Mexico qualified automatically for this tournament from the North America region.
  • Mexico named 10 players to its roster who were born in 1997, seven born in 1998, two born in 1999 and one born in 2002.
  • All 20 of Mexico’s players compete domestically in Liga MX, including six from Chivas Guadalajara. The club plays its home games at Estadio Akron, one of two venues for Olympic qualifying, and host for this USA-Mexico clash.
  • Defenders Alan Mozo and Johan Vasquez play with U-23 USMNT midfielder at Sebastian Saucedo at UNAM Pumas.
  • Head coach Jamie Lozano leads Mexico. He had a long playing career in Liga MX, mostly with Pumas. Lozano made 34 senior appearances with El Tri and took the helm of the Mexico U-23s after coaching Queretaro and coaching spells in the UNAM and Queretaro academies.

GROUP STANDINGS AND RESULTS:

Team W L T GD Pts.
Mexico 2 0 0 6 6
USA 2 0 0 5 6
Costa Rica 0 2 0 -4 0
Dominican Republic 0 2 0 -7 0

Date                Match-Up                                           Venue

March 18        USA 1, Costa Rica 0                             Estadio Jalisco; Guadalajara, Mexico

March 18         Mexico 4, Dominican Republic 1         Estadio Jalisco; Guadalajara, Mexico

March 21        USA 4, Dominican Republic 0             Estadio Akron; Zapopan, Mexico

March 21        Mexico 3, Costa Rica 0                        Estadio Akron; Zapopan, Mexico

SECOND HALF SURGE VS. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: After kicking off Olympic qualifying with a hard-fought victory against Costa Rica, the U.S. faced a resilient Dominican Republic side in its second match. The DR’s disciplined low block proved difficult to break down in the first half, but the U-23 USMNT broke through after the break, as Jackson Yueill’s 60th-minute flick found the back of the net and opened the floodgates. Minutes after coming on, substitutes Djordje Mihailovic and Hassani Dotson combined for two goals, Dotson bagging a brace with his first two international tallies. Mihailovic added an exclamation point at the end of regulation and the USA’s six points clinched the team a spot in the tournament semifinals, which will send their two winners to Tokyo.

STRONG START FOR MEXICO: Playing on home soil, Mexico has dominated its first two Group A matches, topping Dominican Republic 4-1 in its opener and Costa Rica 4-0 on Sunday. After a tight first half vs. the DR, Sebastian Cordova netted a hat trick in the second to put things out of reach. Cordova added another vs. Costa Rica, as the host rolled to another resounding Olympic qualifying victory and clinched its spot in the tournament semifinals.

CONCACAF MEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; HOMETOWN):

GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), 1-JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), 20-David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): 2-Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), 4-Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), 17-Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), 3-Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), 5-Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 13-Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): 16-Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), 18-Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), 8-Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Lemont, Ill.), 15-Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), 10-Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), 11-Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Hoover, Ala.), 6-Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)

FORWARDS (4): 9-Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), 7-Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), 14-Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), 19-Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)

MEXICO ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB):

GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Sebastian Jurado (Cruz Azul), 1-Luis Malagon (Necaxa), 20-Carlos Moreno (Pachuca)

DEFENDERS (7): 18-Jesus Alberto Angulo (Santos Laguna), 16-Jose Esquivel (Juarez), 2-Vladimir Loroña (Tijuana), 3-Manuel Mayorga (Guadalajara), 13-Alan Mozo (Pumas UNAM), 4-Gilberto Sepulveda (Guadalajara), 5-Johan Vasquez (Pumas UNAM)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 14-Erick Aguirre (Pachuca), 11-Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul), 19-Jesus Ricardo Angulo (Guadalajara), 6-Alan Cervantes (Santos Laguna), 17-Sebastian Cordova (Club America), 8-Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey)

FORWARDS (4): 15-Uriel Antuna (Guadalajara), 9-Jose Macias (Guadalajara), 7-Santiago Muñoz (Santos Laguna), 10-Alexis Vega (Guadalajara)

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: 
Held quadrennially, the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship serves as the region’s qualification for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament and as a regional championship for Under-23 players. Since 1992, the Olympics have been contested as an Under-23 competition to differentiate the tournament from the FIFA World Cup.

The current format for the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – eight nations divided into two groups of four teams – was adopted in 2004. The top two teams in each group advance to the pivotal semifinals, whose winners advance to the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament as well as the qualifying competition’s championship match.

Originally slated for March 2020, the Concacaf qualifying tournament is open to all players born January 1, 1997 or after. The age-eligibility rules have carried over from the postponement, so some players on the U-23 USMNT are actually 24 years old.