Posts Tagged ‘El Salvador’

Orange Wedges: Coach Bob, Pick Me! Pick Me!

Orange Wedges is TSG’s gameday post that  is updated until kick-off.

Though it won't repeat itself tomorrow, this happened the last time the US faced El Salvador.

With top division club soccer in the US nearing the nuclear option, soccer fans may witness that last meaningful match on American soil for some time when the USMNT takes on El Salvador in friendly tomorrow evening.

The game kicks-off from Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium — complete with giant fake pirate ship — at 4pm Pacific on ESPN Classic and Galavision.

Though the game is more of a tryout for end of the bench selections for the Yanks World Cup roster, fans can still hope that the team wakes up from its post-qualifying funk to show some semblance of quality and notch its first win since October.


  • Tonight will be the last match for the USMNT in their white and horizontal pinstripe jersey. Nike “unveils” the new kits tomorrow from what we understand.
  • At last count, TSG readers would overwhelmingly like to see Clarence Goodson start over Chad Marshall in defense and a Ching / Findley pairing up-top.
  • If the recent Honduras friendly brought back great memories for Jonathan Bornstein, then tomorrow’s match may bring the opposite as the last time JB faced El Salvador (9/5) it was his shank-a-roni on a clearance attempt that led to El Salvador taking a 1-0 lead. (Kyle Beckerman showed poorly in his limited time in that match as well.)
  • El Salvador travels to Tampa with an interim coach, José Luis Rugamas, performing double duty guiding his country’s U-21 team as well. Rugamas replaced new Chicago Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos who managed the Salvdorans through World Cup qualifying.
  • Somewhat ironically, the US will take the pitch against the Los Cuscatlecos with 20 MLS players and 1 Tippeligaen player (IK Start’s Clarence Goodson).
  • The appetizer to tomorrow’s main course will feature the men’s U-17 squad taking on Mexico at1:15pm Pacific. FYI for those heading to US-ES, your ticket is good for both games.
  • For TSG’s full preview see: Tampa Play: Thirteen Still In Contention

“We’re Happy We Got The Result”

I’m not sure if Bob Bradley wrote “we’re happy we got the result” in the talking points passed out to the players or they just picked that up from his post-game talks. Either way, that sound byte was practically the mantra of players and coaches alike in the last round of qualifying for the USMNT.

Recently, US Soccer posted two behind-the-scenes videos on the match with El Salvador with pre-, during and post- game insights from Jonathan Spector and sure enough the mantra finds its way into the commentary.

Part 1: Pasta and Chicken
This first video is about the pre-game meal, bus trip and warm-ups.

More video after the jump.

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Davies Update, DeMerit Out vs. T&T, Highlights

Davies Update

Charlie Davies continues to update folks on his injury via Twitter. Yesterday, he mentioned that it was stiff and sore and sought treatment three different times. And here’s the latest update from the man himself:

Davies Update

DeMerit & Casey Don’t Travel

According to the MNT blog as, Jay DeMerit (groin) and Connor Casey (wisdom teeth / removed from roster) did not travel with the squad to Port of Spain for Wednesday’s match versus Trinidad & Tobago.

We’ll have the full preview tomorrow, but let us know what you think the starting back four should look like in light of Saturday’s struggles and DeMerit’s continued absence. Obviously, Gooch and Boca will be in there somewhere. That would leave  all kinds of combos possible among the remaining pool of Spector (maybe his USMNT debut at LB?), Dolo, Marshall and even Goodson or…umm…Bornstein.

Official US Soccer highlight reel from the 2-1 victory over El Salvador

Click here to view the 7-minute package on

Put It In the Books! USMNT 2, El Salvador 1

Nice work Lando!

Nice work Lando!

We’ll be back with the full recap tomorrow, but here are some quick thoughts on the second half by the USMNT. For the first half thoughts check out Quick Hitters @ The Half.

…Not a great second half by the US squad, but they got the three points. They came out of the locker room in good form, but the disallowed third goal seemed to linger and deflate the US side a bit.

…I think everyone is curious as to why the goal was disallowed. Announcers said it was called on Dempsey. What? For passing the ball?

…The US got a little sloppy down the stretch. Bradley gave away some balls as did Altidore.

…US subs of Holden and Torres were right on…they almost teamed up for a goal. But, to be honest, watching Beckerman come in and struggle made me wonder if the US has the talent to make a run in ZA (paging Mr. Jones).

…The US did get some good chances late, but generally went away from a possession game in favor of hunkering down and trying to counter-attack…not a fan of that

…Bob Bradley must be scratching his head as to what to do on the wing defense…might the newly FIFA-approved Castillo provide some relief?

…To reiterate Shaun’s great point in the running game commentary…the back four seemed content to let the play come to them rather than be aggressive on defense…that has to get fixed

At the end of the day, the US squad held the status quo. They didn’t improve as a squad, but didn’t regress. The line-up changes helped to control more possession, but it will be interesting to see if that holds against better quality opponents.

See you in the morning.

US versus El Salvador at Rio Tinto – 9.5.09

Real Salt Lake, Rob Zombie enters game late in second half.

Real Salt Lake Midfielder, Rob Zombie enters game late in second half.

Final whistle. US played wonderful attacking football at times but dodgy defense brings up many questions. See you wednesday when they take on T&T

Extra Time: El Sal mounting serious attacks but nothing is coming from them. US defense is not helping. They need to not give the ball right back. El Sal are a much better side than their position in the table suggests.

Extra time now and El Sal get whistled for an off side. Good call but US living on the edge

89: WOW. Great play all around. Stu Holden muscles his way and wins the ball and sends a great cross that Torres heads powerfully and is AMAZINGLY saved by the El Sal keeper. He is called on up again to make another save of a Stu Holden cross.

87: GREAT save by Howard from a Reyes shot. Very good reflexes. Questions though off the US defense. Gooch and DeMerit are being missed a lot i think

84: US giving the ball up too easily. They’re playing a dangerous game. They need to be able to hold the ball up and kill games if they want to do well at the WC. Altidore off Torres on. Heard a lot about this guy but never seen him play.  Good chance for him to make an impression. He can do so by not giving up the ball easily. El Sal attacking coming in waves now.

82: Hmmm somehow i missed El Sal’s third substitution which happened about 8 minutes ago. Corrales in Quintanilla in.

80: US Substitution. Feilhaber out and Rob Zombie er i mean Beckerman in. Fans excited as local boy comes on.

77: Honduras up 2 goals against the Tobogans and are currently leading the group. This game has taken a slight step down from its frantic pace. US doing a good job of possession.

74: With Holden in, it looks like the US are going with a 4-1-4-1. This is a good move. Keep El Sal at bay and then send the powerful Altidore as the lone striker.

70: El Sal are doing everything right except the final ball which is ATROCIOUS. Davies down after being dispossessed in the box when he should have passed to the streaking Altidore (and by streaking i mean sprinting versus a Will Farrell “lets go streaking” thing). Davies injured and is being subbed out for Stu Holden. TSG headquarters erupting in excitement! Brothers high fiving and hugging!

69: US looking like Spain with their one two passing and deft touches…lovely to watch though no goals for it. El Sal still very dangerous on the counter. 20 minutes left. Should be a cracker…fingers hurting from so much typing

67: US playing attacking football which exposes their defense even more. Romero pass to Zelaya in the box but US defend well. Bradley needs to step up and help out the back 4 and they need to keep possession.

65: Dempsey makes a great run with the ball but sends a weak shot directly at the El Sal keepers knees. Should have done better

63: Great chance for El Sal comes to nothing when Castillo passes to no one instead of shooting. Worrying times for the US defense. Another substitution for El Sal as they go all out on attack. Flores off and Reyes on.

61: Jozy shows his inexperience and touches a ball when he was in the off side position. That could have been 3-1

I see one big issue with the US defense in that they are content to have the play come to them versus challenging the man on the ball. Case and point, right before the disallowed goal, an El Sal player was allowed all the time in the world with the ball as he stood there and looked for a player to pass too. That may work here but won;t at the WC.

57: GOAL DISALLOWED…They say offside but NO WAY was it offside. Altidore latches on to a beautiful through ball from Dempsey and slots it home. Make up call anyone? This was as onside as the first goal was offside. Nice finishing though

53: Spector has just sent in two lovely crosses. He was absent in the first half. Bradley off a quick free kick gets an open look at goal from outside the box but sends his effort WAY over. On the counter, Zelaya i believe wins a corner

50: Substitution for El Salvador – 6 Alvarez out for 8 Romero. Alvarez seems to have a hammy injury

47: Donovan with a crack of a shot that goes just over the bar

Brazil up 2-0 versus Argentina…Poor ol Diego…can you imagine a WC without Argentina…Mexico is going to have to play all out tonight against a solid Costa Rican side to avoid that playoff


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Quick Hitters @ The Half

That’s what I’m talking about…at least the last 15 minutes

It is fitting that this game is on ESPN Classic. As it has been a classic Summer of ’09 performance for the USMNT. Not classic in the sense that it was one for the ages, but in that the USMNT performed like they have all summer against inferior opponents. Control possession, misfire from 25-yards in on the attack, give up the first goal and weak wing back play. All followed by a couple of moments of brilliance.

Here are some quick thoughts on the first 45:

  • Donovan is playing at a high level. He’s creating opportunities all over the field. Let’s hope he plays the second 45 just like the first 45.
  • Speed kills…on both sides. Davies is really turning into an exciting player. Love seeing him just jet by players. El Salvador has their own burners up top and make me nervous
  • Welcome back, Michael Bradley. Not sure if he is more confident with Benny or what, but he has stepped up and played well
  • Wing backs for the US are struggling on defense, but are providing good support on the attack
  • Dempsey fits the “classic” theme. He seems disinterested and is just throwing his body around, but is johnny-on-the-spot for the first goal
  • Marshall and Boca seem to be holding up well in relief of the “A” central defense today. (surprising that Goodson didn’t even make the roster)
  • Altidore showed his versatility this half…speed, post-up-ability, deft passing and, of course, the noggin knock
  • The goal by El Sal was a debacle all-around for the back four and Howard.
  • The officials settled down as well and a spectacular no-call on the Dempsey goal

As we’ve said all summer, let’s see how they come out of the locker room. Unless the back four get organized, 2 goals won’t win this.

USMNT Starting Eleven

Bobs made the call

Bob's made the call

GK: Howard

DEF: Spector, Bocanegra, Marshall, Bornstein

MID: Donovan, Feilhaber, Bradley, Dempsey

S: Davies, Altidore

Subs: Guzan, Cherundolo, Rogers, Beckerman, Holden, Torres, Ching

Let’s go boys!


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