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Academy duo Osvaldo Cisneros and Rokas Pukstas lead USA to knockout rounds of Concacaf U-15 Championship

By Sam Kovzan, 08/07/19, 3:00PM CDT


Rokas Pukstas (top right) and Osvaldo Cisneros (bottom right)

Sporting Kansas City Academy forward Osvaldo Cisneros (pictured above on bottom right) and midfielder Rokas Pukstas (pictured above on top right) have helped the United States finish atop Group B of the 2019 Concacaf U-15 Championship in Bradenton, Florida.

Cisneros, Pukstas and the U.S. rolled to three consecutive shutout victories over Haiti (2-0), Guatemala (3-0) and Suriname (4-0) to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals, where they will face Concacaf rivals Costa Rica at 8 a.m. CT on Thursday morning. The match will stream live on the Concacaf Facebook page and the winner will progress to the tournament semifinals, inching one step closer to Sunday’s championship game.

Led by head coach Steve Klein, the U-15s opened their U-15 Championship campaign on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Haiti. Cisneros started and played the full 80 minutes, while Pukstas logged 32 minutes as a second-half substitute.

Cisneros powered the Americans to a 3-0 triumph against Guatemala on Monday, bagging an excellent goal in the 15th minute to give his side a two-goal cushion shortly after Victor Valdez had opened the scoring. Pukstas also started in the winning effort, which produced a late strike from Rafael Jauregui to seal the result.

The U.S. rounded out a perfect group stage showing by defeating Suriname 4-0 this morning. Pukstas came off the bench in the 36th minute and Cisneros entered in the 49th minute as both players notched their third appearance in the competition.

As first-place finishers in Group B, the U.S. will now prepare to battle a Costa Rican outfit that finished second in Group D. In the group stage, Costa Rica tied Group D winners Portugal 1-1, defeated Barbados 2-1 and beat Trinidad and Tobago 3-0.