U-23 USMNT continues Olympic Qualifying tonight against Dominican Republic
U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team vs. Dominican Republic
Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying – Group A
Estadio Akron; Zapopan, Mexico
March 21, 2021 – 7 p.m. ET
ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS TOKYO: The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team continues its Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship campaign on Sunday, March 21 against Dominican Republic (7 p.m. ET; FS1, TUDN). The USA opened the tournament with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Costa Rica, earning three crucial points on a goal from Jesús Ferreira and several key saves by David Ochoa.
A win against Dominican Republic would put the USA in pole position to finish in the top two of Group A and qualify to the pivotal semifinals, whose winners will book their tickets to Tokyo 2020. Follow the U-23 USMNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, Facebook, Instagram 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||7:00 p.m.||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 will be broadcast on FS1 and TUDN.
USA VS. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:
Sunday will mark the USA’s first meeting with the Dominican Republic at Concacaf Olympic qualifying. It’s also the island nation’s first appearance at the tournament.
Los Quisqueyanos qualified for the Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship as one of two teams to emerge from the 16-team Caribbean pre-qualifying. Teams were drawn into four groups of four, and the four group winners met in a one-legged play-in game to qualify for the tournament proper.
The DR won all three of its matches in Group D play, taking down Saint Lucia 3-1, Antigua and Barbuda 4-0 and Puerto Rico 2-1.
In the play-in game, Dominican Republic played a scoreless 90 minutes vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis before finally finding goals in the 97th and 102nd minutes to secure its place in the Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Dominican Republic has called in three players born in 1997, one player born in 1998, six players born in 1999, two players born in 2000, one player born in 2001, five players born in 2002 and two players born in 2003.
The two players born in 2003, Edison Azcona and Sebastian Mañon, are the youngest players in Group A. In Group B, El Salvador and Haiti both have rostered a player born in 2004.
Azcona scored the Dominican Republic’s lone goal on Thursday and plays for Inter Miami CF, where U-23 USMNT head coach Jason Kreis is an assistant.
Just eight of DR’s 20 players are based with domestic clubs. Seven play abroad in Spain, while others are currently with clubs in Germany and the United States.
Head coach Jacques Passy also manages the Dominican Republic senior national team. The Mexican previously managed Saint Kitts and Nevis, leading the Sugar Boyz to their first victory against a European opponent.
GROUP STANDINGS AND RESULTS
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
SOLID START VS. COSTA RICA: The U.S. got off on the right foot in Olympic qualifying with a victory and crucial three points against Costa Rica. After a number of dangerous chances in the first half, Ferreira finished a nice cross from Sam Vines in the 35th minute for what proved to be the game-winning goal. Costa Rica fought hard for an equalizer in the second half, but a number of impressive saves from Ochoa helped the USA hold strong and record a shutout on the day.
ROUGH OPENER FOR THE DR: The Dominican Republic kept things tight in the first half against Mexico, going into the break down 1-0, but wasn’t able to hold on down the stretch in a 4-1 victory for the host. In the second half, Mexico’s Sebastian Cordova netted a hat trick to put the game out of reach while the DR was able to salvage a goal on a penalty from young midfielder Edison Azcona. The game marked the Dominican Republic’s first appearance at this competition.
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.)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Alessandro Baroni (O&M), 20-Daniel Campana (Atlantico), 1-Johan Guzman (Real Avila/ESP)
DEFENDERS (7): 3-Jose de la Cruz (Carabanchel/ESP), 5-Alejandro Jimenez (Jabac Terrassa), 4-Brian Lopez (Atletico Porcuna/ESP), 18-Sebastian Mañon (Black Rock FC/USA), 7-Edarlyn Reyes (Cibao), 16-Lean Torres (Club Atletico Pantoja), 2-Joao Urbaez (Alcorcon/ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 10-Edison Azocona (Inter Miami CF/USA), 14-Jose de la Cruz (Calahorra/ESP), 8-Gerard Lavergne (Club Atletico Pantoja), 13-Kelvin Martinez (Jarabacoa), 6-Fabian Messina (Hoffenheim/GER)
FORWARDS (5): 11-Nowend Lorenzo (Osasuna/ESP), 19-Rafael Mata (Unattached), 9-Erick Paniagua (Unattached), 14-Juan Pineda (Torrijos/ESP), 17-Dorny Romero (Cibao)
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 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 assumed 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.