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U.S. Men's National Team

Strong second half sees USMNT thrash El Salvador in Gold Cup quarterfinal

Eddie Johnson

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

BALTIMORE- A one-goal lead at halftime made Sunday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. Men’s National Team and El Salvador feel like a more tightly-contested match than most would have expected. The second half, led by an unstoppable Landon Donovan, changed that in dramatic fashion.

The U.S. scored three unanswered goals in the second half, with Donovan scoring a goal and setting up three others, to lead the Americans to a 5-1 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

The mostly pro-El Salvador crowd had hope of a dream upset after a Rodolfo Zelaya penalty kick in the first half made it 2-1 heading into halftime, but the U.S. attack hit a different gear with the insertion of second-half substitute Eddie Johnson, who made it 3-1 just 14 seconds after entering the match.

Donovan and Johnson combined yet again for the fourth U.S. goal, with Donovan racing past the El Salvador defense for his 55th USMNT goal of his career, making him the first player to ever score in six different Gold Cups.

Mix Diskerud provided the final tally, heading home a Donovan cross  to secure the victory and send the Americans into Wednesday’s Gold Cup semifinals, where they will face the winner of the Honduras-Costa Rica quarterfinal, which is being played on Sunday.

“We’re getting better and better,” said Donovan. “Every game we’re more comfortable with the role we’re in and again, we’re a team that defended well.

“But the difference today was scoring early goals”, Donovan said.  They got a questionable goal back, but we still kept going. Our effort was really good and obviously to score five goals.”

The Americans started Sunday’s quarterfinal in strong fashion, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Clarence Goodson and Joe Corona, but they were unable to find a third goal in the first half despite dominating possession. Nick Rimando did his part in that strong start, making a pair of jaw-dropping saves in quick succession to keep El Salvador off the scoreboard, at least temporarily.

El Salvador goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo kept El Salvador in the match with some clutch saves, and his teammates responded by drawing a penalty after a DaMarcus Beasley foul in the penalty area. Zelaya struck a Penanka-style penalty to fool Rimando and send the pro-El Salvador crowd into hysterics.

The second half saw El Salvador jump out to a good start, but they couldn’t test Rimando, or put shots on frame, and eventually the Americans began to reassert control.

When Johnson replaced an ineffective Chris Wondolowski in the second half, his speed helped stretch El Salvador’s defense, and he paid immediate dividends by heading home a Donovan cross just seconds after entering the match.

From there, the floodgates opened and the U.S. attack showed the strength that helped it score big-goal routs against Guatemala, Belize and Cuba earlier this month.

“We knew it’s a very tricky opponent and they proved that,” Jurgen Klinsmann said. “They caused us a couple of issues, especially right after halftime. They had opportunities there to tie the game.

“We missed a moment in the first half to kill it off with a third goal before they actually got their penalty, when Joe Corona had a nice opportunity,” Klinsmann said. “And so we had to hang on for a little bit longer. With Eddie Johnson’s goal, the game was over pretty much.”

A much tougher test will await on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas, with the winner of the Honduras-Costa Rica match expected to be a much better opponent. Regardless of who the Americans face, they will remain the clear-cut favorite to win the Gold Cup given the way they, and specifically Donovan, are playing.

196 comments
    • Paul Miller

      Have to say, JK so far has done a good job balancing the two goals of this tournament – win because Gold Cup does matter, and develop the pool. Haven’t agreed with every choice he’s made, but all in all, I can’t see how anyone would be doing better.

      Like

      • Old School

        JK’s handling for the Donovan situation continues to prove he’s forgotten more soccer than anyone on this website will ever know.

        American or not, Donovan is world class but he had a giant slap of reality across his face looking from the outside in and not having his job handed back to him.

        Donovan deserves a lot of credit for putting his head down and grabbing his spot back with attitude by making the statement he has in this Gold Cup. However, a large part of that fervor to prove and seize the moment is due to JK’s motivational tactics with bringing him back in the squad.

        That’s managing.

        Like

      • Fan Futbol

        I was fearful Klinsmann was smoke and mirrors also. I’ve never been so happy to look like an jack@ss.

        Like

  • Ryan nanez

    Why cant beckerman play like that more often? I’m always hating on him, but if he actually played that way all the time then I wouldn’t. Still think there are better cm options but he def impressed me. Great performance USA!

    Like

      • Troy

        Beckerman is a solid player but I wish Ozzie Alonso could play for the US–too bad that FIFA hasnt made a decision as whether or not to let him, I dont think they will but still hoping.

        I just imagine Ozzie allowing Bradley to push forward more because Ozzie embraces playing in the back and pilfering fools.

        Like

    • Old School

      Beckerman plays like that nearly every match…people only see what they want to or are willing to.

      JK and the managers in this region have seen it. It’s just the stubborn SBI posters who think they know more than JK that have been fighting and clawing in their denial.

      He’s not world class but he always does his job and that equates to being dependable…something every manager loves.

      Like

    • Jermaine

      Beckerman did play well, but he’s not on my roster if we qualify for Brazil.

      Like

      • RB

        I wouldn’t think so. I mean barring some sort of injury situation or something.

        Like

      • Old School

        You haven’t been paying attention then.

        He’s one of JK’s “guys” and rightfully so.

        Like

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        An injury or 2 could help him get there. He is obviously a guy Klinsmann really likes but at the end of the day there are just better players to choose from. CM is the most competitive position in the pool and I think Beckerman will be on the outside looking in when all is said and done. He certainly has earned the respect of national team fans though.

        Like

      • Old School

        Well, he’s ahead of Edu and only behind Jones or Bradley for a defensive-minded role in the midfield.

        Something that will be needed AND used in the World Cup.

        Sorry, to all that would like to disagree. Beckerman is going and I’d gladly put money on it.

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      • Duracell

        He’s still behind Bradley, Jones, Cameron, and Edu (more versatile) for now. We may take five DM’s, or he may move past one of those guys, but I think Beckerman is on the outside looking in for Brazil.

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      • Old School

        Touche, Duracell.

        Cameron is someone I didn’t factor in. Given his CB/DM versatility that’s a great reference.

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      • Chef

        Be honest with yourself. When everyone is healthy Beckerman is behind Jones, Cameron, Edu, and Williams. There is VERY little chance he makes it to Brazil.

        Like

      • beachbum

        he’s more than Williams…Beckerman has a chance, especially in the next game and, hopefully, the final to prove more

        Like

      • Killer Instict

        Along with Torres, who for me is more the new era Bornstein…not sure what Klinsi sees in this kid. He touches the ball way to many times, then gets man handle off the ball, and worst of all he’s horrible in trying to track back and recover from his F-ups. Which is why El Salvador kept attacking that side and Beas kept getting exposed…frustrating

        Like

      • Old School

        “Along with Torres, who for me is more the new era Bornstein”

        Did you really just compare Bornstein to Torres (or even Beckerman for that matter)?

        Wow.

        Like

      • chris

        Well to be fair to Bornstein he played well in the World Cup and Torres didnt

        Like

      • chris_thebassplayer

        He’s a good player. If he was as bad as you think he is he wouldn’t be on the field.

        Like

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        Beasley ‘getting exposed’ as you say was much more Beasley being too far up the field too often than anything to do with Torres.

        Like

      • RB

        Nope, I have been paying attention. But that’s the second time here today that someone claimed I must not be just because I didn’t agree with them.

        That said, it’s a long time before Klinsmann has to decide who’s going and who’s not, and a lot of things can hangs between now and then. I think Beckerman could only have helped his case today.

        Like

      • Joe A.

        No disrespect to beckerman but given our depth at midfield he probably won’t make the final roster.

        Like

      • Dennis

        Based on the last games each played for the US, Beckerman> Williams. and maybe better than Edu, even though he is not as athletic as Edu.

        Like

      • Chef

        Williams hasn’t been playing due to fitness not ability. Edu is sorting out his situation with Stoke and since he has enter the US pool has he ever been worse than Beckerman. Have you not realized that at the beginning JK used Beckerman as an example of the style of DM he would like the 6 to be and as motivation for players with more talent?

        Like

      • the original jb

        As of right now, Beckerman has to be ahead of Edu and Williams since neither of them has played for their clubs or the US in quite awhile. I think its Cameron or Holden who probably gets the last DCM spot just ahead of Beckerman.

        Like

      • Chef

        Holden or Mix will get the back up CM spot. Cameron will get the backup DCM spot if not he will be starting. Who has been getting minutes in WC qualifiers or when Klinsman needed a win to keep confidence in his abilities as a coach? Edu or Beckerman? Exactly. Beckerman plays when Edu is not needed so Edu can concentrate on club. Go back and look through the lineups. It’s blatantly obvious.

        Like

    • Iggy

      Was the best i’ve seen him play for the US in a while. actually made positive passes, ripped some shots, and of course played destroyer well. An unsung but strong performance.

      Like

    • beachbum

      I’d say he’s played well most of this tournament, certainly the last 2 games, and he was good in Gold Cup 2009 until the final. he’s done it before, my hope is he can keep doing it

      Like

      • Dawnpatrol

        What Edu done on the national stage? I don’t get it?

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      • Big Red

        The United States is 1-0-1 in Mexico City when Edu starts. He saved a point for us in the last game we played there.

        Like

      • beachbum

        Ed scored a game winner in the WC vs. Slovenia.

        Seriously tho, I like them both and see Edu and Beckerman in a real battle for a spot along with Wiliams

        Like

  • RB

    Not important but just curious: I thought FIFA rankings only came out at the beginning of each month, so how is it that Grant Wahl knows that the US just passed Mexico in them, with this win? Pardon my ignorance in advance if I’m missing something obvious. (Don’t pay much attention to those rankings.)

    Like

    • Old School

      Bring on Costa Rica.

      The more times we beat them, the more satisfying due to their constant whining about the Snow Bowl.

      By the way, I heard Costa Rica is already protesting their match with Honduras due to the rain because they feel it gives Honduras an unfair advantage.

      Like

    • Joe A.

      Honestly I don’t see the advantage in playing either. This team should advance to the final no matter who its against.

      Like

  • divers suck

    I only remember 3 unanswered goals in the second half, or the entire match, not 4….No?

    Like

  • Cairo

    There has to be room for Landon on 1st team starting lineup. At least three times today he demonstrated that he’s still got top end speed, and he sees the game better than Anyone. To me, he shuld play up top with Jozy and we find another home for Clint, prob. On left wing. That said, JFT has regained my fandom. Such a unique (for US) player and getting better as a winger

    Like

      • Old School

        Why does everyone think Donovan and Zusi are 1a/1b.

        As I said in another thread, JK obviously rates Zusi and I think we’ll see something like this:

        —————–Altidore
        ————-
        Donovan—-Dempsey—-Zusi

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        Hopefully because Dempsey is on the left rather than the center. He’s much more dangerous floating in toward the center, and he seems to be more comfortable doing that from the left. Donovan is more comfortable on the right, and those two together work counters as well as any American combo ever has.

        To me, the question is who will be in the center (assuming we have Bradley and Jones as DMs). I was thinking Kljestan, but now Holden and Diskerud are both looking like contenders.

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        Forgot the @ss… thing here, sigh.

        Hopefully because Dempsey is on the left rather than the center. He’s much more dangerous floating in toward the center, and he seems to be more comfortable doing that from the left. Donovan is more comfortable on the right, and those two together work counters as well as any American combo ever has.

        To me, the question is who will be in the center (@ssuming we have Bradley and Jones as DMs). I was thinking Kljestan, but now Holden and Diskerud are both looking like contenders.

        Like

      • Old School

        “Hopefully because Dempsey is on the left rather than the center.”

        I don’t see JK suddenly changing where he’s been playing in this formation.

        Also, I don’t see him not finding a way to get all four on the pitch leading the attack: Altidore, Donovan, Dempsey and Zusi.

        I get that people don’t like Zusi or think he’s not capable of performing at this level but I think a lot of people have short memories for the impact he’s made in Donvoan’s absence. Furthermore, I haven’t been impressed by anyone that’s played on the left side in the same way Zusi and Donovan have impressed.

        That includes: Torres, Johnson (either one in that role) or Shea (at this point, he’s a super sub).

        Like

      • Chef

        What games have you been watching that you think Zusi is in the same class as Fabian Johnson? No. Just no.

        Like

      • Duracell

        Fabian Johnson >> Zusi.

        Not saying they both cant find a place, but I think Fabian is one of the five best USMNT players.

        Like

      • Old School

        Here’s where Fabian finds his role on our Nats.

        ————-Altidore
        Donovan–Dempsey–Zusi
        ———-Bradley–Jones
        Beasley-Besler-Gonzalez/Goodson-F.Johnson

        Fabian will be in the starting lineup. As will Donovan AND Zusi.

        Like

      • Old School

        Diagram didn’t work and the filter grabbed the comment for no apparent reason.

        Fabian will slot in at RB.

        Like

      • Chef

        Fabian Johnson is a waste of talent in the defense. Yes, him and Chandler are the best outside back options in the U.S. pool, but FJ adds so much more to the offense than any other option on the wing.

        Like

      • Scott

        Pick 3 (from your 1st 4) based on the opponent and sub the 4th in for whomever is not producing. Not a bad problem to have.

        Like

      • Ben

        For me, Mix and Holden are both ahead of Kljestan in the race for Brazil right now.

        Like

      • Old School

        Kljestan shouldn’t even been mentioned in this conversation.

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      • Fan Futbol

        Amen. Kljestan’s really been not good in US shirt. Pretty much ever.

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        SK has better first touch (right now, I’d say he’s second only to Bradley in terms of first touch), and his passing vision isn’t bad. He plays central in league play – granted its not Bundesliga, but he’s still considered a competent CM in Europe.

        He doesn’t have the speed to play wide, yet for some reason that’s what he’s been asked to do most of his recent USMNT opportunities.

        Like

      • Josh Perrella

        Diskerud is no where near being a contender. He scored a goal but was terrible the rest of the game. I probably could have scored a goal against El Salvador the way they were letting in goals. Holden on the other hand has looked solid and is an A team player if he can stay healthy.

        Like

      • beachbum

        or Clint wide left with LD and Jozy both pushing the seems and space up top…some way to get them all on the field together, right? and they move around and interchange and do all kinds of things. as others have said it could be a roll back to a 4 3 3 when those three are all available for Coach to play with. it’ll be interesting to watch it all

        Like

      • Bac

        Yea I hate jumping so far ahead after every game, but I can’t help but think this may be a real possibility…
        Here’s my thinking: (Throw out JKs previous attempt at the 4-3-3 for any of several reasons…)
        1. Both Bradley & Jones already play in a similar situation at their respective clubs
        2. If you want to find a way to say “I gotta find a way to get my best forwards/midfielders on the pitch at the same time, regardless of formation” the 4-3-3 probably ends up giving you the best chance to utilize their respective strengths without sacrificing defense
        3. The teams that are effective in that formation have a lot of versatility at their wings, and a BOSS as their deepest lying middie (aka MB, where I think he thrives)

        I think Stus continuing development is one big factor, and I think wherever Fabian ultimately lines up is the other

        Like

      • beachbum

        good post. LD can make that 4 3 3 happen better than before when Klinnsman tried it too, and so can Stu

        Like

      • Frank

        Totally agree. That should be the front 4 with EJ being used as a sub.

        Like

    • John

      I agree play Landon up top with Jozy. Just think of Jozy with his back to the goal and him and Landon playing off each other. Dempsey actually played well this last season on the left when Tottenham moved Bale Forward. Dempsey can play alttle more inside and let Fabian get the width. There Dempsey can still get on the end of things and he’ll find his own shot anyway.

      Like

  • Alex

    Zusi has filled in admirably, but lets be real; Donovan will be a starter for the next WC qualifiers.

    Like

    • beachbum

      but they might if Clint starts with Jozy up top…get it? he could slide into the left tho, LD that is

      Like

    • Nate Dollars

      yeah, people really don’t understand that players don’t EVER move positions. donovan can only be a striker, dempsey can only be an outside mid, messi can only be a winger…

      Like

  • Chris

    Actually Donovan was offside on the cross for the EJ goal. It was a corner kick, but on the corner Landon passes to Torres who gives it back to Landon. El Salvador had no defenders on the posts, and even the goalkeeper was out of the goal so Landon, coming from the corner to receive Torres’s pass, was ahead of every El Salvador player and so offside.

    Like

  • RB

    Not important but just curious: I thought FIFA rankings only came out at the beginning of each month, so how is it that one of the commentators today who shall remain unnamed to get by the moderation filters here could know that the US just passed Mexico in them, with this win? Pardon my ignorance in advance if I’m missing something obvious. (Don’t pay much attention to those rankings.)

    Like

  • RB

    (Third try!)

    Not important but just curious: I thought FIFA rankings only came out at the beginning of each month, so how is it that one of the commentators today who shall remain unnamed to get by the moderation filters here could know that the US just p@ssed Mexico in them, with this win? Pardon my ignorance in advance if I’m missing something obvious. (Don’t pay much attention to those rankings.)

    Like

    • Chris

      My guess is that since the rankings are mathematical and not subjective he just did the math between the two countries and their most recent results (but that’s just a guess).

      Like

      • Old School

        That’s news to me. Then again, I find them to be incredibly irrelevant.

        What rank was England and where did the finish in comparison to the US in group play?

        Exactly.

        Like

      • SanFran415

        You’re better than that comment man…

        By that logic Manchester United would never lose a game. Ever.

        Like

      • Old School

        Huh?

        I’m saying the players play the matches, not their rank.

        We finished above England…who are wildly overrated and higher ranked than any plausible logic.

        Like

      • SanFran415

        England are notorious for underperforming for tournaments.

        But England is WCQ is an animal. They almost never lose. Ever. They string together 15-20 wins some times including friendlies.

        UEFA WCQ matches are worth gold in the rankings algorithm–even if it’s a bad team.

        Like

      • Chupacabra

        It’s easy for England to ratchet up points when their WC qualifying group includes San Marino and Moldova.

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        Good point, Chupacabra. Europeans ‘think’ their road to the World Cup is tough, because after all, it’s Europe. But in practice, there are a lot of good teams but even more bad teams, and you end up with one perennial power in a group; maybe two if you’re unlucky. It’s much more difficult in a system like CONCACAF has, in which the final round is six relatively evenly matched teams (more evenly than San Marino v England that is) playing against one another for 10 games.

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        They’re computerized, but the formulas are occasionally re-vamped. The subjectivity comes in with how the computers are programmed. For instance, a few years back when the U.S. was frequently in the top 10 (I think we actually got to sixth once) the formula was changed. Rumor has it the U.S. rankings were a major reason. No one believed we really were a top 10 national team, and I’d say for good reason, so they looked at what was producing those results and changed that. I don’t think we’ve been top 20 since.

        Like

      • RB

        Yeah — LOL — I never thought they had much of any consistent, underlying logic to them, mathematical or otherwise!

        OK, so if that’s the case, is there some site (even if not a FIFA-approved official one, you know) where such is updated based on whatever the most recent results are?

        Like

      • wfrw07

        FIFA’s site lets you put in the results of the month for a team and see how many points they stand to have in the next rankings, but doesn’t rerank every team. It will give you a sense of the ranking, but not for sure where we are at any moment.

        Our score in the latest rating is 865. With our results so far this month, we are projected at 908 points. That would bump us up 2-3 spots. Winning the thing probably would bump us up another couple spots.

        Like

    • Mike in Austin

      RB,

      The rankings are based on points awarded for each match played. Unlike most things at FIFA they have actually made all the information on how these points are awarded public so you can calculate positions after every match. This is how we know the US is now ranked above Mexico.

      Hope this helps.

      Like

  • chris

    Still dont see what all the hype for Mixx is about. Hes got decent vision but compared to Bradley, Jones, Holden and Torres hes nothing spectacular going forward. He tends to disappear when the going gets tough. Just like in Olympic qualifying, when El Salvador pushed numbers forward he was running in circles missing tackles left and right leaving Beckerman to clean it up. He gets the job done against the El Salvadors of the world but he’ll get exposed against better competition just like his time in Belgium

    Like

    • beachbum

      not his best game, started better but looked seriously gassed in the 2nd half to me. does mean a fresh Stu for the semis in that position

      Like

    • beachbum

      not his best game, started better but looked seriously ga$$ed in the 2nd half to me. does mean a fresh Stu for the semis in that position

      Like

    • Ben

      I’m going to have to disagree. Certainly he isn’t the finished product, nor do I think he is about to replace Bradley or Jones, but he is a classy p@sser, sees the field, and is calm with the ball. He played just fine defensively today, and he was harrassing the players in his area. He definitely needs to get to a bigger league, but to say he will be exposed is silly. Was Jozy done because he was exposed once in England? Was Donovan finished because the Germans never rated him? That sort of thinking isn’t. And Klinsmann likes his game, too.

      Like

      • Ramon

        I didn’t say he doesn’t ever deserve to be in the team. I’m just saying his play needs to improve in some areas to be part of the sr side.

        Like

      • chris

        I never said he was a finished product but imo he doesnt project as a high caliber player in the future. He may have nice vision but is limited in his defensive abilities (which will always be important for a USMNT CM against elite competiton), doesnt cover much ground, and disapears when pressure is heavy. If you watched his Belgium games you would have seen how abysmal he was. He may look nice now in Norway and against CONCACAF minnows but with the many flaws in his game and the talent coming up through the ranks he will get overlapped. It happens

        Your Jozy and Donovan analogies arent very good. Both showed WAY more promise at a much earlier age

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      the ‘hype’ is that he shows a lot of promise. i don’t see many people calling for him to replace jones, bradley, or dempsey right now, but he has good vision, he’s an accurate p@sser, and can keep the ball.

      the fact that he’s ‘missing tackles left and right’ might have to do with the fact that defensive mid is not his best position; ideally, he might eventually be a replacement for dempsey as an attacking mid.

      Like

      • Ben

        This is what I wanted to say, but my comments are awaiting moderation. also, I don’t think he was missing tackles left and right. He played well when we were on d, ushering people away from a middle and providing cover when needed, but maybe the fellow is one those contrarians for the sake of being contrary.

        Like

      • chris

        Go back and watch the game again. I literally counted 4 missed tackles in 10 seconds

        Like

      • DCUffda!

        You prediction for Mix’s is way off the mark. Young player, decent vision, decent p@sser, needs better technique on defense, but is a willing participant on the d end. Would beneffit from more challenges at the professional level, and learning to be more physical.
        Seems like an intelligent player who is learning from the experience at the GC.
        Similar assessment for Corona.

        Like

  • Joe dirt

    Check out this lineup

    ——–Altidore——-Donovan———

    F.Johnson—-Dempsey———Zusi–

    —————-Bradley——————

    DMB—–Besler—–Gonzolez—Dolo-

    —————–Howard—————–

    Very attack oriented, looking forward to Brazil and laying a smack down on Mexico in Columbus in Sept.

    Like

    • Pace

      Well, no one has thought of not using 2 dmids yet, lol. Klinnsman has trained us well.

      Like

      • chris

        Wait you mean the same guy who started 3 dms for two years??

        Like

      • Turgid Jacobian

        Bradley is superior to camerOn in every single way.

        Like

      • somidscr21

        He’s talking about taking out the second striker, moving LD to RM and adding in a second DM. Which is where Geoff comes in..

        Like

    • AcidBurn

      Not enough bite. Would leave the CB’s exposed. Got to have more than just mb90 playing defense.

      Like

    • Mueller

      ————–Altidore——————
      ——Dempsey–Donovan———
      —–Jones–Holden–Bradley—-
      Johnson–Besler–Orozco–Zusi

      Making new lineups is way too much fun!

      Like

      • Joe A.

        I dont know about zusi at right back but otherwise a good line-up

        Like

      • Lost in Space

        Move Bradley centrally….Holden to the right…OR Jones Centrally and Bradley to the Left.
        Then replace Zusi with a RB….Dolo, Chandler, Evans, Lichaj, Parkhurst.

        Like

  • AcidBurn

    I think Fito Zelaya (also known as the El Salvadoran Messi) just got himself an MLS contract today. He was seriously fired up.

    Like

  • chris_thebassplayer

    Good stuff all the way round. I thought the ball movement in the first half was stellar. We look better dealing with the bunker D…we’re getting our flank backs upfield and involved in the attack which is critical. We should have scored four goals in the first half. Nice pa$$ by LD to Wondow to Corona for the second goal and another great ball by Wondow to LD when he tried to chip the keeper. I thought everybody was good in the first half. It was so dominate we should have put the game away, but the PK gave them hope. El Sal completely changed their tactics at half time pushing up their D line and pressuring high. EJ’s pace was a great call with that kind of space behind the D in a back and forth open game. The only bone to pick was the D looked a little vulnerable at times against Zelaya. If we wind up playing Mexico they have a handful of players that can bring that level of pressure against our D, especially our flank defenders.

    Like

  • SanFran415

    People, it is very clear that Wondo is simply no WC material. Let’s continue using him for throw away CONCACAF matches.

    Like

    • AcidBurn

      Yup, Wondo has had his moment. GAM should be the starter going forward. Plus, if he and Gabriel Torres remain stuck on 5 goals, isn’t the tiebreaker who plays less minutes? Wondo can get a trophy to put on his mantel.

      Like

      • Benny

        Wondo actually did not play too badly at all. He link well with his mates and had an assist.

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      maybe, but only 2 of the 4 are our starters. goodson is 3rd choice CB at best, and parkhurst is pretty far down at RB.

      beasley is the one who worries me, because it seems that klinsmann wants him to be our starter at LB, and we saw how even an average but energetic winger like zelaya was repeatedly troubling him.

      Like

  • Mueller

    Still don’t know what to think about Donovan. He’s still fast. He makes great runs. He is a good passer. But his finishing has been pretty bad in this tournament despite all the goals he has scored. He wouldn’t get this many chances against quality opponents so he better start putting his chances.

    Like

    • Troy

      Donovan is fine. He has played well in this tournament. He has one more good run as a starter at the World Cup and then he will have to be a sub if he last 4 more years or just worry about club ball. Its nice to have so many options that are solid at almost every position. The one I am worried about is the LB/RB combo. Teams are going to look to attacj on the flanks big time.

      Like

  • Benjamin

    El Salvador basically had to play two different U.S. teams. Once Klinsmann matched El Salvador’s offensive subs with EJ and Brek and the team’s style of play became more aggressive, the game became a laugher pretty quickly. Great job of subbing in the proper players to push the tempo and clinch the result.

    Like

  • twewlife

    A few thoughts on the game:

    1. The Bad: Goodson, Beasley, and Shea were just not there. I really love watching Beasley, but his touch isn’t great and his defense is, well…..not what you want against a good winger. Goodson again proved that he just doesn’t have the speed / agility to stack up. And Shea, good bless him, is just having a tough time.

    2. The Good: Corona, E.J., and Donovan. These guys all just showed tonight. While E.J. and Donovan are definitely going to Brazil next summer, Corona is making a strong case for that roster. He’s not going to get a starting spot, but he’s viable second half sub if the U.S. needs to put points on the board.

    3. General Tactics: In the last two games, there seems to be a disconnect between the back 5 (including the DFM) and the offensive midfielder (Mixx in this game, Holden in the last game). This causes problems, as it makes it harder for the U.S. to move up through the center of the middle third of the pitch, which in turn makes it easier for the opposition to mark our wingers making overlapping rungs. I’m not quite sure how the U.S. should solve this problem. Thoughts?

    4. The hair cuts of this U.S. Gold Cup team have to be the best ever:

    exhibit a: E.J.’s new thing
    exhibit b: holden’s 90s era boy band cut
    exhibit c: Mixx’s locks
    exhibit d: Beckerman’s dreads
    exhibit e: Shea’s rooster

    Like

    • Benjamin

      I somewhat disagree with your criticism on Shea. He did his job as a sub: he was energetic, he attacked and caused some havoc, and tracked back well on defense late. His performance was not perfect, but it was horrific by any means.

      Like

      • Increase

        I thought Shea was fine too. Nothing special but if he played like he did all game every game, we would probably be quite happy.
        I don’t think he goes under bad for this game.

        Like

      • Jerrod

        I thought Shea did a nice job. His touch seems to be back, he ran at defenders, defended and put a nice cross right onto someone’s head (EJ maybe, can’t remember for sure)

        Like

    • Ben

      Can’t agree with number 3 at all. We have controlled possession, created chances, and scored goals. It may not be perfect, but things usually aren’t. I think our center mids have been doing a very nice job of moving the ball from the d to the attack. Remember, there is another team on the field actively trying to stop us.

      Like

      • Ben

        That’s it. I done commentating for the day. I don’t even see what is wrong with my last comment. Also, how long does it take for these things to clear?

        Like

      • Joe A.

        I was moderated for a while too. I wouldn’t take it too personally.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        i think the most common reason we get unnecessarily held in moderation is when we use any word that includes the letter sequence ‘a-s-s’, like in ‘p@ss’, or ‘cl@ss’, or ‘@ssume’. it’s really, really dumb.

        just use the @ symbol instead of ‘a’.

        also, for some reason, ‘troII’ is a censored word. i just use 2 uppercase ‘i’s instead of the lowercase ‘L’s.

        hope that helps!

        Like

      • Ives Galarcep

        Ben, it’s something we are hoping to rectify soon. I agree that it can be a pain in the a$$ sometimes, but we are working to sort it out.

        Like

    • Fan Futbol

      Agree with Benjamin. I actually thought Shea did pretty well today as a sub. He was @ssertive going forward and was aggressive defending.

      Like

    • Tyrone

      Hmm, your definition of bad is way off, in my opinion. Shea looked confident and ran at the defense. Beasley’s penalty was ugly for sure, but he generally tracked back and got forward well. Goodson scored off a one-timer and was not to blame on any of El Salvador’s real chances.

      Like

      • Hawk

        I agree, Shea looked dangerous. Also, I thought Corona’s level of play really dropped off in the second half. He had a number of bad giveaways. I like Corona’s potential but I don’t think he was particularly good today. The goal withstanding, of course.

        Like

  • Joe A.

    Here’s a line-up I could get with or I would at least like to see in action

    Altidore
    Dempsey-Donovan
    Holden-Jones-Bradley
    Johnson-Besler-Cameron-Cherundolo

    Like

    • Benjamin

      Holden would probably have to go out to the right in this lineup. Do you rate him over Zusi? Plus, I think Cameron is close wrestling away the center mid spot away from Jones permanently. Thus, I would slot Gonzo, Goodson, or Orozco in beside Besler.

      Like

      • Joe A.

        I do think he’s a better player in zusi but zusi’s in better shape. Cameron was solid against guatemala but that was one match plus I think he’d be adept at center back where our starters in that position are more up in the air.

        Like

      • Benjamin

        Rimando is a great 3rd, and Sean Johnson seems to have a very bright future.

        Like

      • John F

        Two or three? Howard, Guzan, Rimando and Johnson. Which one or two are you forgetting?

        Like

  • gtv

    Klinsi has come up aces in this recent run. After getting punked by Belgium, the USMNT has shown resilience, desire, and depth. Props to Klinsi for sending using the Gold Cup rules to send Onyewu and others packing (I was hoping Gooch could prove he still has a place, but he didn’t) and bringing in Besler, Johnson and the others.

    The man actually does has something cooking. Let’s get WC qualification done immediately and get ready for Brasil!!!

    Like

    • Ricardo

      Oh yeah, it’s really cooking.
      Barring the Germany game 7 of those 8 games have been at home against teams that average out to a 77 (yes 77) world ranking.
      Don’t get me wrong, a nine game winning streak is nice and the team looks good but this run can only tell us which players deserve another look.
      It cannot tell us much how a player will respond against good teams that we will face in Brazil
      But then again, there are a bunch of guys here who are lauding Ramos for finishing 22nd out of 24th on the U 20 World Cup

      Like

    • Paul

      Compare JK’s results in this Gold Cup to past performances in this tournament, and it’s fair to say he has picked this team up a notch or two. The player selections, tactics, and subbing have been commendable throughout the tournament. We’ve rarely seen the stellar ball movement and total team effort put forth so far.

      Onyewu was injured against Cuba, but he does need a big club season to have a shot at another callup.

      Like

    • Troy

      Johnson had a legitimate shot too if he had done better on a couple balls and not danced with the keeper 8 feet from goal. Johnson needs to realize that people expect him to step over he made a defender look silly when he step over fake step over pass. Johnson has the footwork for better but he loves his step overs.

      Like

  • chris_thebassplayer

    One more time without the double ss

    Good stuff all the way round. I thought the ball movement in the first half was stellar. We looked much better dealing with bunker D…we’re getting our flank backs upfield and involved in the attack which is critical. We should have scored four goals in the first half. Nice pa$$ by LD to Wondow to Corona for the second goal and another great ball by Wondow to LD when he tried to chip the keeper. Ineffective might be a little harsh on Wondow, he should have had two assists. I thought everybody was good in the first half. It was so dominate we should have put the game away, but the PK gave them hope. El Sal completely changed their tactics at half time pushing up their D line and pre$$uring high. EJ’s pace was a great call with that kind of space behind the D in a back and forth open game. The only bone to pick was the D looked vulnerable at times against Zelaya. If we wind up playing Mexico they have a handful of players that can bring that level of pre$$ure against our D, especially our flank defenders.

    Like

  • Snack Time

    Costa Rica having a tough time breaking through the Honduras public transit system, losing to Honduras 0-1, 10 minutes left

    Like

  • Chef

    This is the best team the U.S. could possibly put on the field when everyone is healthy. Just because your favorite player isn’t on here doesn’t mean he is terrible. It just means that if our best players are all available and we play JKs 4-3-3 this would be the lineup. The only real struggle is Cameron or Jones at DCM. Based on talent alone with the goal of putting points on the board while keeping a clean sheet.
    GK: Howard
    RB: Chandler
    CB: Gonzo
    CB: Besler
    LB: Beasley
    DCM: Cameron slight edge over Jones, but more needs to be seen
    CM: Bradley
    ACM: Dempsey
    LW: F. Johnson
    RW: Donovan
    CF: Altidore

    Zusi and Holden are not better players than anyone in this starting lineup.

    Like

    • John

      A healthy Cherundolo is still a better right back then Chandler. Of coarse if he can recover and get back to fitness is still a question but you started by saying if everyone is healthy.

      Like

      • Chef

        Watch Bundesliga games and then tell me what you think. I’m not taking anything away from Dolo. He is great.

        Like

      • chris

        Did you just completely disregard last season? Chandler was awful

        Like

      • John

        For the last 2 months of the season he mostly played on the right wing. I guess we’ll see what he ends up doing this year.

        Like

    • Mueller

      I find this lineup very debatable. First for me Jones is better than Cameron. Second Donovan is not playing in the same position with the Gold Cup roster as Zusi does in qualifying. I didn’t think Donovan looked good as a RW or RM against Guatemala. He didn’t look good until he moved up to the support striker which is where Dempsey plays. Unless you are going to move Dempsey to the left, I am not really sure where Donovan fits because I would leave Zusi on the right.

      Like

      • Chef

        Did you watch the second half of the game today. Donovan was playing more as a winger. Also please go back and watch the last spell Donovan had with Everton. He was an absolute monster playing on the right. Zusi is NOT better than Donovan on the right.

        Like

      • Chef

        Also, JK plays a 4-3-3 with the A team which would move Donovan to the RW spot.

        Like

    • Fan Futbol

      I think Cameron and Bradley are a better pair than Bradley and Jones, because Cameron is more disciplined positionally and that allows Bradley to play a strong offensive game. But Klinsi seems to love Jones like a son.

      FWIW, I also think Cameron makes less mistakes than Gonzo and is pretty good in the air. Besler-Cameron might be our best starting CB pair. I think Cameron gets less love than deserved bc he had a couple rough showings at RB.

      Like

      • Chef

        I’m on board with everything you stated. It is really tough to leave Cameron off of the pitch.

        Like

      • Troy

        I think Jurgen’s thought process is that Jermaine Jones has a higher ceiling IF he can get the best out of him. Cameron may be better in the back but I think Jurgen likes the potential of Jones being a game changer along with Bradley.

        Personally I believe that it depends who we are playing and it is good to know that we can adapt to many styles. Will be interesting to see how they do against some better teams to end the Gold Cup and the final round of WCQ.

        At this point it would be a disappointment to not win the Gold Cup and not win the Hex.

        Like

      • Big Red

        I would still like to see Cameron – Edu in the middle of our defense at some point though. Besler look atrocious today. I don’t know how many times he wiffed at the El Salvadorian players. I’m of the opinion center back is still wide open.

        Like

      • Chef

        For that very reason I have both Cameron and Edu making the 2014 WC squad. They are both great athletes with a defensive mentality and ability to play in the middle whether it is DM or CB. I wouldn’t say Besler was atrocious today, but he did have a poor performance.

        Like

  • Lost in Space

    With the players in the USNT Pool….and where they are best suited to play, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us move to a 4-4-2 diamond….something like the following comes to mind:
    ———————-Jozy——————–Donovan———-
    ——————————–Dempsey————————-
    ——-Bradley—————————————-Holden—-
    ——————————–Jones——————————-
    —F.Johnson—————————————Chandler–
    ———————–Besler————-Gonzo—————–
    ——————————–Howard—————————–

    Subs: Beasley, Zusi, Boyd, Cameron, Edu, Corona, Mixx, Guzan
    On the Fringe: D. Williams, Dolo/Lichaj, Gomez/Wando, Shea, Rimando, S. Johnson, Castillo

    Like

    • Troy

      I think omitting Eddie Johnson is a mistake. I think he will be going to Brazil-he has came up big off the bench. He is quite an attacker to add when needed. Not great at any one thing but good at many. I wouldnt even consider Johnson in good form right now coming in as an addition. If he is on form he could be an X-factor off the bench.

      Like

  • Chef

    In a 4-4-2 I’d take Holden out, move Bradley to the right, Move Johnson up to LM and slot Beasley in at the LB spot.

    Second XI would be
    GK: Guzan
    RB: Dolo
    CB: Cameron
    CB: Goodson
    LB: Lichaj/Castillo both are suspect
    DM: Edu
    RM: Corona
    LM: Zusi
    AM: Holden
    ST: Gomez
    ST: E. Johnson

    Like

  • LaMitadMasUno

    The Gold Cup is a complete waste of time. Dream scenario: A final between mostly USMNT reserves vs Mexico reserves. I don’t see how any of these matches are helping the United States grow as a serious candidate for the World Cup. Ultra minnows like Belize and Martinique have benefited from the “big match” atmosphere but the US has not.

    Like

    • Troy

      Yeah its terrible…I pity all the guys on the team. Keep in mind it sets us up to at the very least have an opportunity at the Confederations Cup which is good challenge before World Cup 2018. It also allows the young guys and guys like Donovan who need to sharpen up or get back in the fold. There is no negative about this tournament in my opinion. It allows us to sharpen the blade before the World Cup. Plus it allows the coach and the hierarchy of the USMNT to see some guys who may be the “next wave” after Landon is gone among others…like Howard (a bunch actually).

      Like

    • John

      If you aren’t playing real competition like San Marino, Andorra, Faroe Islands and Malta then why even bother.

      Like

  • Addage

    Just want to say congrats to Kyle Beckerman. Thought he played an excellent, balanced game. Have been a big critic but not today. Still a second tier player but he sure made some major contributions today.

    Congrats to the whole team. Entertaining, positive soccer.

    Like

  • Dennis

    Interesting that Diskerud got the start over Holden. I think JK believes that right now Diskerud is the better player. I was surprised that Torres got the start, I think he slows the play down too much and has trouble serving balls when he is feeling pressure. I would be tempted to put Donavon in that left mid spot where he can run at people and make things happen. Wondo, EJ and Gordon are all capable of scoring some goals any pair of them would present problems to the Gold Cup opponents.

    Like

  • bryan

    today was a perfect example of an argument, my argument, against starting Beckerman. well done. fook!ng well done.

    Like

    • bryan

      grrrr, it was a perfect example of why the decision to start Beckerman was 100% right over my opinion to bench him. well done Beckerman. always making me eat crow…

      …i still want Mix/Holden…

      Like

      • Annelid Gustator

        ? he was fine in the back, but a hazard forward.

        Like

  • OB Rick

    That was an exceptionally exciting game! End to end action.

    However, I am a little disappointed that Baltimore/DC/Virgina/etc couldn’t come up with more USA fans. That sucked.

    Like

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