Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

U.S. Men Begin Soccer Quest

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

U.S. Men Begin Soccer Quest

Article excerpt

It's a big week for the United States men's soccer team; a week that determines its Olympic fate.

Eight teams began play in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament Thursday and Friday. Only two will punch a ticket to London.

The U.S. -- restricted to its Under-23 team through qualifying -- got off to a good start with a 6-0 rout of Cuba Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn., thanks to a hat trick from Joe Corona. Team captain Freddie Adu, the lone player on the present roster with Olympic experience, added a goal. The margin is the U-23 team's largest since beating Panama, 7-0, in 1991.

"It was pretty special, but it needs to be more," said coach Caleb Porter.

The U.S. was scheduled to play Canada Saturday night, then finish Group A play Monday against El Salvador. Group B consists of Mexico, Panama, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago. The top two teams in each group advance to the all-important semifinals Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., with the winners earning automatic berths in the London tournament. …

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