The U.S. U-23 National Team won its second match in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament and it was again the RSL Academy that played a key role in a 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic, likely clinching a spot in the tournament semifinals and putting the United States one step closer to qualifying for the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
RSL defender Justen Glad was one of just five players who remained in the starting lineup after Thursday’s tournament-opener and was joined in the XI by former RSL winger and RSL Academy alum Sebastian Saucedo, who came off the bench on Thursday.
Saucedo created chances throughout the first half and ended up assisting on the eventual game-winning goal scored by Jackson Yuiell in the 61st minute as the U.S. powered to a 4-0 win to move atop the Group A standings entering Mexico’s match with Costa Rica later on Sunday.
In the first half, the U.S. outshot the Dominican Republic 6-2 but could not find the net and the match went into halftime at a 0-0 stalemate.
RSL Academy product Sebastian Soto entered the match at halftime and in the first 20 minutes of the second half, Soto, Saucedo and Glad all nearly scored. In the 52nd minute, Saucedo missed just wide on a ball from the right side that skipped across the box to his right foot, but his shot went just outside the far post. Five minutes later Glad had a header saved.
Finally the U.S. snared the lead in the 61st minute when Saucedo fired a ball across the face of the goal and Yuiell poked it home.
In the 64th minute, Soto nearly doubled the lead when he thundered shot off the crossbar. He also started the sequence on the third goal for the U.S. and nearly had a sliding goal in the 90th minute.
The U.S. would add goals from Hasani Dotson in the 73rd and 78th minutes and Djordje Mihailovic in the 90th minute, getting on the end of the ball that skipped just past the sliding boot of Soto, for the final 4-0 tally.
The U.S. will face Mexico in the final match of the Group Stage on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. MT, FS1). With six points through two matches, the U.S. will clinch advancement to the semifinals with a Mexico win or draw against Costa Rica on Sunday night.
While David Ochoa made nine saves in a crucial 1-0 win over Costa Rica in the first match on Thursday, he was moved to the bench along with RSL defender Aaron Herrera, who also played 90 minutes against Costa Rica.