The field is set for the hexagonal round in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Beginning in 2013 the United States will battle Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama for the right to be one of three teams to advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Now it's your time to vote - which three teams do you think will advance?
Definitely head over to Grantland, where Noah Davis has a thought provoking story about the rise of CONCACAF players in MLS and whether that's making things more difficult for the U.S. Men's National Team.
Perez, of course, is a member of the Panamanian National Team and gives his take on the rising perception of MLS in Central America.
From MLSSoccer.com is this recap of the U.S./Cuba match. It wasn't much of a contest. Read the whole recap here, but we've sliced out the details involving FC Dallas' Brek Shea, who started the match and was subbed out in the second half when it became lopsided:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The outcome of the United States Under-23 squad's opening match of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying wasn't in doubt for long. Joe Corona tallied a hat trick, including the opening strike in the 11th minute, in a 6-0 rout of 10-man Cuba at LP Field on Thursday night.
Freddy Adu and Juan Agudelo also scored, and the Americans benefited from an own-goal in a dominating and impressive effort from Caleb Porter's young squad.
The Americans made it 2-0 in the 37th minute. A quick restart on a free kick went to Brek Shea in the left channel, and the FC Dallas star lofted an inch-perfect cross to Agudelo. The New York Red Bulls star was by himself streaking toward the six-yard box, and confidently headed it in.
The US then added their fourth in the 43rd minute. Shea found a through ball on the left side of the goal and curled a cross in for Agudelo, but Diz Pe bungled it into the net before the mohawked striker could pounce.
In their next tilt on Saturday, the US will face a Canadian side that drew 0-0 with El Salvador in a listless opening game.