For those that did not, or will not be able to watch the Olympic qualifying games I am going to do some recapping of how our boys in blue (and red and white) performed.
The U.S. scored a goal via Joe Corona in the 11th minute off of a Freddy Adu set piece and things only got easier from there on out. In the 19th a Cuban defender through a blatant elbow into the face of Juan Agudelo earning him a straight red. As the US Olympics hopefuls played their Total Football scheme chance after chance was created. Corona scored two more to complete his hat-trick while Shea assisted an Aguedlo header, Adu had a strike from distance and Cuba contributed an Own Goal. The game ended 6-0 nothing with some viewers wondering if all the games would be this easy.
After the break player ratings and notes.
Freddy Adu -- 8.0
Adu had a great game or the U-23s contributing a goal and creating numerous scoring chances. Adu did occasionally run into trouble by attempting to do too much with the ball but that was far outweighed by the dangerous balls over the top and on set pieces that he provided. A few times I even caught him playing defense (gasp!). As captain he did not have much to do but did seem to help set things up for set pieces both on offense and defense.
Amobi Okugo-- 7.0 On 64'
Amobi did not start the game but once the game was well out of reach with a 5-0 lead Caleb Porter sent our defensive midfielder into the mix to shut the game down. I did not notice Okugo much but when I did see him he was tackling the ball away from cubans and the team used him as a fulcrum to change the point of attack. All-in-all a solid shift from Okugo. Side note: The midfield was greatly improved in terms of being a balanced group upon Okugo's introduction, prior all three midfielders were attacking and were shying away from defensive responsibilities.
Sheanon Williams-- N/A Unused Sub
Williams did not get off the bench however this is no cause for alarm. With 3 games in 5 days he will likely start one of the next two games. If Kofi Sarkodie needs a rest then he might play against Canada but knowing the El Salvador has a speedy attacking squad Porter might hold off on using him until then.
- It was good to see that the U.S. scored off more then just set pieces but from the run of play as well.
- The U.S. truly played Total Football and Caleb Porter has very clearly coached them well. (For those already calling for Novak's head look here for a replacement)
- A funny tweet from during the game by Brian Sciaretta (NYT Goal blog writer) "Cuba is able to start 11 players. Will they be able to do that by Monday #defections"
- Hickeyman and I were chatting during the game noted the Freddy always seems to play better for country than for club. My theory is he is an intrinsically motivated player who is not loyal to his clubs (Except DCU) because he feels no connection to them. Any thoughts on this?
- Let me know if you disagree with my ratings I would love to here your thoughts.