What to observe for between the US U-23s, Dominican Republic at Olympic Qualifying | Charles Boehm

The US Under-23 males’s national team cleared its first Concacaf Olympic Qualifying hurdle with Thursday’s tense 1-0 win over Costa Rica. The journey is way from carried out, nonetheless, and the young Yanks face a distinct (however nonetheless important) job in Group A on Sunday when enjoying the Dominican Republic at Estadio Akron in suburban Guadalajara (7 pm ET | FS1, TUDN).

For the second of three matches in seven days under heat circumstances at mile-high elevation and one through which the US are marked favorites, sweeping adjustments to Jason Kreis’ beginning lineup are anticipated – or as many as a roster measurement of just 17 field players can enable.

A win continues to be obligatory regardless of who will get the nod, as three extra points would just about clinch a spot within the semifinals and ease jitters forward of the group-stage finale vs. Mexico on Wednesday. Right here’s a number of issues to watch.

Who steps into the XI?

With MLS nonetheless in preseason, the hole in match fitness and sharpness between the US and Costa Rica grew sharp in reduction as Thursday’s affair ticked away, even after Kreis maxed out his use of 5 allotted substitutions.

It’s a superb bet that almost all (or all) of these 5 subs will characteristic from the start against the DR. No less than one, however maybe not each, of Johnny Cardoso and Andres Perea ought to step into central midfield. This sport would even be a superb place to get late-roster addition Tanner Tessmann some minutes.

Sebastian Soto is a pure swap for Jesus Ferreira up top and Sebastian Saucedo is a logical wing possibility. Henry Kessler can spell Justen Glad – who’s carrying a yellow card – or Mauricio Pineda at center back. Aaron Herrera was principally middling at proper back against Los Ticos and will possible be relieved by Julian Araujo, who this teaching employees appears to price very, very extremely.

The Mihailovic-Yueill axis

A big think about a number of of the above choices is how Kreis manages Djordje Mihailovic and Jackson Yueill, two of the employees’s most highly-regarded midfielders. Yueill went the full 90 within the first sport, bearing the left-handed praise of Costa Rica’s decision to man-mark him to restrict his affect, and there’s not really one other deep-lying distributor fairly like him in reserve. Time for a relaxation?

Mihailovic’s creativity is valued, however he was quiet on Thursday. Does he get the chance to play his means into kind or is it higher to measure his minutes? Maybe he’s given a run-out on the wing?

The US caught to their deliberate single-pivot form, however nobody really appeared unbelievable within the twin 8 slots. It will be attention-grabbing to see the likes of Cardoso and Tessmann sit deep collectively and patrol from a distinct set of angles.

Goalkeeping competition?

David Ochoa finished just a nostril forward of JT Marcinkowski within the goalkeeping competition, then vindicated the decision with a Man of the Match performance against Costa Rica. Does that imply he’s The Man from right here on out? Or will Kreis observe by means of along with his earlier musings a couple of rotation for the second sport? Apart from the San Jose Earthquakes backstop, additionally they have Philadelphia Union teen Matt Freese on the roster. 

A Cinderella story?

Unheralded upstarts climbing up the Concacaf dogpile grace us with a few of our area’s best tales, and these Dominican Republic islanders definitely fall into that class. 

A nation historically dominated by baseball has superior noticeably within the stunning sport by digging up dual-nationals like Osasuna’s Nowend Lorenzo and Hoffenheim prospect Fabian Messina from the Dominican diaspora. They’ve additionally made strides in domestic player growth, serving to them attain this match for the primary time ever.

Los Quisqueyanos (a nickname derived from the Taino folks’s phrase for Hispaniola) acquitted themselves bravely of their 4-1 opening loss to mighty Mexico, and whereas they’re nonetheless a longshot for semifinal development, these video games are a treasured alternative for his or her particular person players to turn heads.

Some aren’t even carried out with highschool but, together with Connecticut-based (Taft College) defender Sebastian Manon and winger Edison Azcona, an Inter Miami CF homegrown signing and the scorer of Thursday’s comfort goal. The United States best not overlook these underdogs.


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