Philadelphia Union local forward QuinnSullivan scored a natural hat trick in USA’s 3-0 win over Cuba that earned Coach Mikey Varas‘ team a first place in Group E at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
Cuba led the group early in the game with a 1-0 victory over Canada, which held the United States tied at 2-2.
While the United States squandered many early chances against the Canadians and entered halftime with only a 1-0 advantage on Monday, the Americans’ start on Wednesday was quick and precise. Sullivan’s early strikes gave a 2-0 lead within eight minutes of kickoff.
Just 75 seconds after the opening whistle, Sullivan completed a fine serve into the goal area of Caden Clarkwho had received a precise pass from Paxten Aaronson after their one-two.
Sullivan’s second finish came after a series of neat passes from start to finish. It started with a pass from inside the American penalty area of Brandan Craig to Sullivan, who pushed a Cuban deep into the American half and dodged another in the center circle before passing to Clark. He, after a few deft touches, pushed through a Cuban crowd to Alexander Alvaradowho set the stage for Sullivan.
Aaronson kicked a ball out of the American half for Sullivan to meet in stride and complete his hat trick two minutes before the halftime whistle.
• Next: USA takes on Nicaragua in the Round of 16 on Saturday (8:30 a.m. ET). Nicaragua are one of four teams to advance to the knockout stage at a qualifying tournament in November between Concacaf’s lowest-ranked teams (17 and under).
• Somewhere else: Canada finished third in Group E beating St. Kitts and Nevis to advance with USA and Cuba.
• The price. The 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship serves as a qualifier for the 2013 Under-20 World Cup (four quarter-final winners advance) and the 2024 Olympics (two semi-final winners go to France ).
• Finishing in the top two of its group, the USA avoided facing Mexico before the final.
• By winning his group, the United States avoids the possibility of facing the host country, Honduras, before the semi-finals. Honduras knocked out the United States from the last two Olympics in the Olympic qualifying semi-finals.
SA function: Young Union midfielder Quinn Sullivan well served by Philly family tradition By Brian SciarettaSeptember 2021.
June 22 in Tegucigalpa
UNITED STATES 3 Cuba 0. Goals: Sullivan 2, 8, 43.
UNITED STATES — Brady, Cuevas (Halliday, 46), Neal, Craig, Allen, Tsakiris, Pukstas, Aaronson (Luna, 46), Alvarado (McGlynn, 72), Sullivan (Wolff, 46), Clark (Cowell, 62 year).
Cuba — Morgado (A.Fernandez, 63), Alvares, Penalver, Torrez (Trutiet, 67), Sanchez, Valdez, Ciudad (Paradela, 46), Angel (K.Fernandez, 46), Oda, Duboy (Palma, 46), Quinones.
Yellow cards: USA — Cowell 83, Wolff 80, McGlynn 75. Cuba — Valdez 13. Red cards – nothing.
Arbitrator: Selvin Brown (Honduras)