Joe Corona has no mixed emotions and only one thought as the Californian prepares to play El Salvador, his mother’s home country.
“Right now I’m just thinking about going out there and doing a good job and getting the three points,” the midfielder said. “I don’t want to get emotional with this. I just want to do well and have a good game.”
The United States needs more than a good game from the Under-23 team Monday night. The Americans must win against El Salvador or miss on qualifying for the Olympics for only the second time since 1976 and first time since 2004.
Canada and El Salvador are tied atop Group A with four points, and Canada plays Cuba, which has given up 10 goals in two games. The top two teams advance to Saturday’s semifinals in Kansas City, Kan., where the winners qualify for London. Even if the Americans reach the semis, they likely would have to beat Mexico for a berth in London.
Captain Freddy Adu is the only American on the roster from the 2008 team that qualified for Beijing.