The U.S. Under-23 men’s national team continues its Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship campaign against Dominican Republic Sunday (7 p.m. ET; FS1, TUDN).
The USA opened the tournament with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Costa Rica, earning three crucial points on a goal from Jesús Ferreira and several key saves by David Ochoa.
A win against Dominican Republic would put the USA in prime position to finish in the top two of Group A and qualify to the pivotal semifinals, whose winners will book their tickets to Tokyo 2020. Follow the U-23 USMNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com,Facebook,Instagram and Twitter .
Sunday will mark the USA’s first meeting with the Dominican Republic at Concacaf Olympic qualifying. It’s also the island nation’s first appearance at the tournament.
Los Quisqueyanos qualified for the Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship as one of two teams to emerge from the 16-team Caribbean pre-qualifying. Teams were drawn into four groups of four, and the four group winners met in a one-legged play-in game to qualify for the tournament proper.
The DR won all three of its matches in Group D play, taking down Saint Lucia 3-1, Antigua and Barbuda 4-0 and Puerto Rico 2-1.
In the play-in game, Dominican Republic played a scoreless 90 minutes vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis before finally finding goals in the 97th and 102nd minutes to secure its place in the Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
The Dominican Republic has called in three players born in 1997, one player born in 1998, six players born in 1999, two players born in 2000, one player born in 2001, five players born in 2002 and two players born in 2003.
The two players born in 2003, Edison Azcona and Sebastian Mañon, are the youngest players in Group A. In Group B, El Salvador and Haiti both have rostered a player born in 2004.
Azcona scored the Dominican Republic’s lone goal on Thursday and plays for Inter Miami CF, where U-23 USMNT head coach Jason Kreis is an assistant.
Only eight of DR’s 20 players are based with domestic clubs. Seven play abroad in Spain, while others are currently with clubs in Germany and the United States.
Head coach Jacques Passy also manages the Dominican Republic senior national team. The Mexican previously managed Saint Kitts and Nevis, leading the Sugar Boyz to their first victory against a European opponent.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; Wayne, Pa.), 1-JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes, Alamo, Calif.), 20-David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), 4-Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), 17-Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; Las Cruces, N.M.), 3-Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; New York, N.Y.), 5-Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 13-Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 16-Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; Denville, N.J.), 18-Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC; Federal Way, Wash.), 8-Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montreal/CAN; Lemont, Ill.), 15-Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; Medellin, Colombia), 10-Sebastian Saucedo (UNAM Pumas/MEX; Park City, Utah), 11-Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; Hoover, Ala.), 6-Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; McKinney, Texas), 7-Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; Plantation, Fla.), 14-Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; Orlando, Fla.), 19-Sebastian Soto (Norwich City/ENG; San Diego, Calif.)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Alessandro Baroni (O&M), 20-Daniel Campana (Atlantico), 1-Johan Guzman (Real Avila/ESP)
DEFENDERS (7): 3-Jose de la Cruz (Carabanchel/ESP), 5-Alejandro Jimenez (Jabac Terrassa), 4-Brian Lopez (Atletico Porcuna/ESP), 18-Sebastian Mañon (Black Rock FC/USA), 7-Edarlyn Reyes (Cibao), 16-Lean Torres (Club Atletico Pantoja), 2-Joao Urbaez (Alcorcon/ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 10-Edison Azocona (Inter Miami CF/USA), 14-Jose de la Cruz (Calahorra/ESP), 8-Gerard Lavergne (Club Atletico Pantoja), 13-Kelvin Martinez (Jarabacoa), 6-Fabian Messina (Hoffenheim/GER)
FORWARDS (5): 11-Nowend Lorenzo (Osasuna/ESP), 19-Rafael Mata (Unattached), 9-Erick Paniagua (Unattached), 14-Juan Pineda (Torrijos/ESP), 17-Dorny Romero (Cibao)