USA vs. El Salvador: Match Night Commentary

USA vs. El Salvador: Match Night Commentary

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. El Salvador: Match Night Commentary

By

U.S. Crest

The U.S. men's national team takes on El Salvador tonight in Tampa (7pm, ESPN Classic/Galavision) as the team's MLS-based contingent looks to impress head coach Bob Bradley before he picks the squad for the upcoming Netherlands friendly.

I will be providing live commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (the commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for me. Please share your post-match thoughts in the comments section below.

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FINAL- USA 2, El Salvador 1. Brian Ching scores a goal and sets up another while Kljestan delivers the game-winner in a match that wasn't pretty but did give some players a chance to impress.

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94th minute– Kljestan may have just saved his World Cup hopes with that clutch sequence.

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91st minute- GOAL USA!!!! And it's Sacha Kljestan with the steal, the give-and-go with Ching, and the finish. WOW. USA 2, El Salvador 1.

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89th minute– Ching springs Gaven but Gaven is WIDE with his shot. Great chance goes wasted there.

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86th minute– Geoff Cameron comes in for Rogers.

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83rd minute– Seven minutes left. Can Ching and Gaven combine for a winner. Both have looked good here, as has Pearce.

El Salvador is still pressing for its own winner.

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81st minute– Rogers hits a shot off the woodwork from distance.

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79th minute– SAVE El Salvador, stopping a dangerous Ching shot.

Ching has been dangerous.

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79th minute– Dax McCarty comes in for Beckerman.

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78th minute– Rogers sails a sharp-angled shot rather than laying a pass off in front of goal. Just a bad night from Rogers.

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76th minute– Pearce did very well to create the space to get the cross off and Ching made no mistake on the header.

Pearce has had himself a game tonight, suddenly forcing his way back into the left back conversation.

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73rd minute- GOAL USA!!!!! And it's Brian Ching with the perfect header off a beautiful cross from Heath Pearce.

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71st minute– Another set piece wasted by the Americans, though to be fair, Goodson got yanked down.

Here comes El Salvador, earning a corner.

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68th minute– Cunningham comes in for Findley.

This El Salvador goalkeeper is a nightmare, making the USA shutout all the more incomprehensible.

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67th minute– Evans JUST wide with a header.

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61st minute– Gaven with a steal and decent look from distance. He's the only American to show a pulse this half.

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61st minute– I wonder if El Salvador will use this friendly to work on the time-wasting faked injuries we saw in qualifying.

I think it's safe to say the Brad Evans-as-right-back experiment is dead after tonight.

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61st minute– Findley has a chance in the area but tries one too many moves instead of just shooting it.

Chances will come. The question is whether the Americans will be composed enough to finish them.

The crowd is getting into it.

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61st minute– Ching just wide with a promising header.

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58th minute- GOAL EL SALVADOR. Brad Evans heads a ball right to Rudis Corrales, who deposits the gift into the net. El Salvador 1, USA 0.

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56th minute– Gaven has looked good since coming in showing some silky smooth moves.

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54th minute– I thought we'd see plenty of goals tonight. I'll settle for one just to have something to write about.

Seriously though, the American attack hasn't clicked. There have been some nice sequences, and good chances saved, but to be held scoreless has to be considered disappointing.

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52nd minute– We're back (finally). As you know by now, Brian Ching and Eddie Gaven have come in for Casey and Davis. Both players had some decent moments in the first half.

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HALFTIME– USA 0, El Salvador 0. Underwhelming first half, though the Americans showed some better energy for the final 25 minutes.

Who has impressed? Heath Pearce has looked good. Nobody else has shown enough consistency, only flashes. Goodson hasn't been bad tonight.

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40th minute– Kljestan with a sweet pass to find Davis on the left flank, and the Dynamo winger makes some good moves before Kljestan has his shot saved. Better from Kljestan there.

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37th minute– I'm liking Casey's passing tonight, but he's so slow it becomes hard for him to find looks of his own, even against this below-par defense.

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35th minute– Rogers has a go and his right-footed blast is saved for a corner. He finally takes a good shot after a few open looks this match.

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34th minute– Some good energy from the Americans during this sequence, but no quality chances. They need better.

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32nd minute– Kljestan's one-timer is saved. Great pass from Casey to find his run down the middle of the box, but Kljestan goes for the quick one-timer rather than taking a touch.

Casey playing the role of creator during this sequence, while Pearce shows off some moves.

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30th minute– Findley can't get his header on frame.

Americans have had some chances to build, but the final pass has been consistently poor.

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29th minute– Findley with some speed, but can't get in on goal. USA with another corner.

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26th minute– Casey is forced to clear an El Salvador free kick off the back-post.

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25th minute– More promising sequence, started by a timely Goodson tackle. Pearce showed some wheels on that one, only to have his cross blocked.

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22nd minute- El Salvador with a nice sequence but Juan Carlos Moscoso fell overhimself when he rushed a shot in the area. El Salvador's coaches lobbied for a penalty, apparently on the turf. 

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19th minute– Suggestions for drinking games for
this match are welcome because if a match ever needed drinking games, it's this one.

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19th minute– That thing I said before about the Americans passing better today than vs. Honduras. I may have spoken too soon.

Did I mention that Conor Casey looks like a white Shaquille O'Neal next to El Salvador's centerbacks?

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15th minute– Game doesn't have much rhythm to speak of and the Americans aren't exactly controlling action.

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11th minute– Rogers just murdered a promising American sequence with a whiffed pass attempt.

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8th minute– This U.S. team is passing the ball better than it did vs. Honduras, at least early on.

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6th minute– Rogers earns a corner, which Davis curls to the top of the box, where Beckerman blasts it well high.

Americans need to do more with these set pieces. El Salvador can't defend any good set pieces.

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4th minute– Rimando with his first save, a rather easy one but a good early touch to get for him.

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2nd minute– Evans with a streaking header off the corner nearly scores as the Americans apply heavy pressure early on.

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1st minute– We're underway. 

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PRE-GAME– Tonight is the last time we will see these USA uniforms. They will be replaced by the new 2010 uniforms the next time the United States plays at home in May. These all-white uniforms have seen some good times, including the upset of Spain in the Confederations Cup.

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PRE-GAME– Spoke too soon about the rain. It's pouring.

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PRE-GAME– The rain has let up. We're close to kickoff.

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PRE-GAME– Another theory for Marvell Wynne's absence? Bob Bradley could be resting him ahead of Toronto FC's big pre-season match against FC Dallas tomorrow (kidding).

Will win go to the Netherlands? Doubt it. Not when Spector and Frank Simek merit looks.

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PRE-GAME– We are about five minutes from kickoff. The crowd is filling in a bit.

What should we expect tonight? Look for El Salvador to combine some speed and skill to test the U.S. defense while the American midfield will be given the task of controlling this match. Can the tandem of Beckerman and Kljestan win the possession battle while also creating chances for the forward duo of Casey and Findley?

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA bench:

Troy Perkins, Eddie Gaven, Chad Marshall, Geoff Cameron, Brian Ching, Dax McCarty and Jeff Cunningham.

No Marvell Wynne tonight. Did he play himself off the radar with the tragic performance against Honduras? Or is he hurt? I don't think we should assume this means he won't go to the Netherlands match.

D.C. fans won't be happy about Pontius missing out, but he's young and has plenty of time to play himself into the 2014 mix.

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PRE-GAME– I have a feeling we'll see some subs at half. Ching and Cunningham for Casey and Findley would make sense, with McCarty also an option.

El Salvador's squad list is out and Ramon Sanchez is the captain while Arturo Alvarez is in the starting lineup along with recent Chivas USA signing Osael Romero.

Here's a photo to remember Alvarez by:

Arturo Alvarez (ISIphotos.com)

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PRE-GAME– The refs tonight are from Canada. They can't be happy about missing the big hockey game for this match.

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PRE-GAME– We've got a driving rain on a surprisingly chilly night in Florida. The attendance for this match is going to be modest, though I do know American supporter's groups will be here in force.

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PRE-GAME– So why Bornstein at centerback? He played there vs. Honduras and did pretty well, and given the shaky state of the position's depth, it can't hurt to see him get another look there.

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PRE-GAME– It will be interesting to see how the American wingers deal with El Salvador's speed. Brad Davis has a rep for not having the best work rate. He'd better show  a good workrate tonight or he will get toasted (and Heath Pearce will be a very busy man).

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PRE-GAME– Plenty of surprises, though none are completely outrageous. Heath Pearce hasn't gotten a look lately so this will be a good test for him, and Brad Evans gets another look at right back.

Conor Casey gets the nod ahead of CHing to start, but it's safe to say we'll see mass subs, either at half or the 60-minute mark. Basically the starting lineup is the group of players, for the most part, who have the most to prove or need a real chance to show themselves.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA starting lineup:

—————-Casey——–Findley—————-

Davis———Beckerman—Kljestan——-Rogers

Pearce——–Bornstein—–Goodson——-Evans

————————Rimando———————-

Bornstein is the captain tonight.

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PRE-GAME– Things get even testier as a Mexican player is ejected for punching an AMerican player near the final whistle. You can't make this stuff up. Final: USA 4, Mexico 1, and the 2009 Gold Cup Final debacle is avenged (okay, not really).

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PRE-GAME– Mexico's Under-17 team is losing its cool and the ref has just ejected a Mexican player who blasted a dead ball into the face of an American players. Yes, there's even tension on the U-17 level when the USA and Mexico are involved.

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PRE-GAME– U.S. Under-17 forward Kellen Gulley has two goals vs. Mexico today. Future 'El Tri' killer in the making (he's a product of the MS Chicago Fire Juniors youth program if you're wondering).

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PRE-GAME– The U.S. Under-17 national team is putting a 4-1 whipping on Mexico here at Raymond James Stadium. Could easily be 6-1 right now.

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