The men’s national team of the United States finishes its penultimate training camp before the World Cup in the same location where their qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022 began.
Gregg Berhalter’s team travels to San Salvador’s Estadio Cuscatlán on Tuesday night for a Concacaf Nations League group match against El Salvador, where they drew 0–0 last September. It’s the final encounter of the US’s two-week, four-match gathering, the main goals of which were to prepare for the fall in Qatar and get more data on certain individuals whose positions in the future are still up in the air.
First place in the group is on the line in the Nations League, the competition in which the United States is the defending champion. The United States demolished Grenada 5–0 on Friday night, and with two matches remaining, they may leapfrog El Salvador into first place. La Selecta has beaten and drew Grenada so far.
Ethan Horvath is getting the start in goal for the U.S., which is still trying to sort out its goalkeeper situation entering the World Cup, while Haji Wright will get an extended look at forward as Berhalter weighs his options at one of the other positions that remains a bit of a revolving door. Wright replaces Jess Ferreira, whose four-goal performance against Grenada boosted his personal case and helped the United States get its first three points in the Concacaf secondary round.
Christian Pulisic was awarded the captain’s armband for the night, starting on one wing opposite Tim Weah, and Aaron Long was given the start at center back for the fourth straight game.
The weather and field conditions are the most important variables for the night. At the first kick, it was pouring rain, and the Cuscatlán pitch was choppy and in bad shape.
El Salvador started up aggressively, but nothing really put Horvath to the test. The first of its two semi-chances on goal in the opening minutes was an audacious, long-range attempt from Christian Martinez, which didn’t come particularly close, while moments later, a diving header in the box from Nelson Bonilla also went wide of the U.S. goal.
In the sixth minute, left defender Antonee Robinson won a corner kick for the United States after producing a dangerous cross. Pulisic’s shot was easily blocked, but he regained possession and expertly stayed in play after cutting the ball back to Weah, who crazily volleyed wide of the mark from 20 yards.
Keep an eye on this page for updates and highlights of goals and notable plays from the contest (refresh for most recent updates).
The following are the night’s lineups:
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