[CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA set up a date with host Mexico in Sunday's Concacaf Under-20 Championship final (TV: Fox Soccer, Galavision, 7 p.m. ET)
thanks to a 2-0 win over Cuba in Friday's semifinals on early goals by Mario Rodriguez and Daniel Cuevas. It will be
looking for its first Concacaf U-20 championship.
The win gave the USA four wins in four games, marking the first time since it hosted the tournament in 1980 that it won four in a row. The USA lost to Mexico, 2-0, in the 1980 final played at Giants Stadium. It was the first of five times it has finished second in the Concacaf U-20 championship. Mexico has won 11 Concacaf championships.
Rodriguez put the USA ahead in the eighth minute when Benji Joya fed him at the top of the area, and he held off his defender and beat goalie Sandy Sanchez to the near post.
Three minutes later, Cuevas made it 2-0 when his shot from 24 yards out deflected off a defender and left Sanchez stranded. Cuevas later left the game with an ankle injury and his status for the final is uncertain.
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal missed the semifinal with an ankle injury. Three other players -- captain Caleb Stanko, midfielder Luis Gil and forward Jerome Kiesewetter -- returned to their clubs following the quarterfinal win over Canada that qualified the USA for the 2013 Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.
According to a U.S. Soccer release, goalkeeper Cody Cropper will return to English club Southampton on Saturday and will not be available for the final.
Mexico beat El Salvador, 2-0, in the other semifinal. A heroic effort by Selectita goalie Rolando Morales held off Mexico captain Antonio Briseno scored two late goals.
March 1 in Puebla
USA 2 Cuba 0. Goals: Rodriguez 8, Cuevas 11.
USA -- Cropper; Serna, O'Neill, Torre, Ocegueda; Lopez, Trapp; Rodriguez (Allen, 72), Joya, Garcia; Cuevas (Okwuonu, 77)
Cuba -- Sanchez, Vaquero, Labrada, Piedra, Santa Cruz, Reyes, Morales (Anderson, 52), Hernandez, Diz Pe (Collado, 62), Saez, Martinez.
Referee: Hugo Cruz (Costa Rica).