NASVHILLE, Tennessee - Joe Corona scored three times in his first official appearance for the United States, leading the United States to a 6-0 victory over an overwhelmed Cuba Thursday night in the opener for both teams at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.
Corona scored in the 11th, 40th and 88th minutes, one before and two after Cuba was reduced to 10 men when Dario Macias was ejected in the 20th minute.
Juan Agudelo and Freddy Adu also scored for the United States, which also benefited from an own-goal during the American offensive domination.
It was the United States' first victory in two matches at the under-23 level over Cuba, having drawn 1-1 in 2008.
Corona, the U.S.-born son of a Mexican father and Salvadoran mother who accepted an invitation and trained with Mexico but did not play last year, made his debut with the United States in a 2-0 friendly U-23 victory over Mexico last month.
After the United States earned three corners by the 10th minute, the Club Tijuana striker gave the Americans the lead when Adu drove a left-footed free kick from 40 meters into the area. Cuba keeper Odisnel Cooper raced out to punch it clear, crashing into Agudelo in the process.
The ball fell to Corona, who trapped the ball of his chest and volleyed from the middle of the penalty area inside the right post.
With Cuba on the defensive, keeping at least nine and sometimes 10 players behind the ball, Macias was issued a straight red card by Mexican referee Roberto Garcia for a right elbow to the face of Agudelo as both chased a loose ball at midfield.
"Cleary the red card played into the game," U.S. coach Caleb Porter said. "I'd still like to think we still would play in a similar way. Up a man, it was nearly impossible to get us off the ball"
Much of the rest was the United States, with Agudelo doubling the lead in the 37th.
After Corona was fouled by Arturo Diz Pe just outside the penalty area, Mix Diskerud played the ball wide quickly to Brek Shea, who served a cross into Agudelo at the six, and he was unchallenged to head it in.
Corona scored his second three minutes later. Diskerud had the ball at his feet inside the box, drew the defense to him and served a square ball across to Corona, who volleyed from near the penalty spot just inside the right post past Cooper.
The United States increased the lead to 4-0 in the 43rd when Shea broke free on the left and served a low, rolling cross to Agudelo. But Cuban defender Diz Pe, who entered the game as a first-half substitute for Jorge Farinas, attempted to intercept the ball, sliding and knocking it into his own net.
"Too much, too much," Cuba coach Raul Triana Gonzalez said. "The first 30 minutes we had the game pretty even. After that, it went down."
The Americans continued their domination into the second half. Adu added his goal in the 62nd, left unmarked 27 meters from goal and curling a left-footed drive inside the right post.
Corona added his finale in the 88th, exchanging passes with Diskerud before finishing with a right-footed effort from just inside the top of the area.
Cuba, which went undefeated in Caribbean qualifying for the CONCACAF finals and outscored opponents 14-4, will next face El Salvador on Saturday while the United States will take on Canada.