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El Salvador vs. USMNT: Your Live Commentary


The U,S. men’s national team returns to World Cup qualifying action for the first time in almost four years, for the first time since the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2017.

A new cycle is set to begin, and a new generation of talent is ready to make American fans forget about the failures of four years ago. The USMNT takes on El Salvador on Thursday night (10pm, CBS Sports Network, Paramount+, Universo).

Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen are out for tonight’s match, with Gregg Berhalter deploying a young squad against an El Salvador side that is also short on experience, but one that will have the support of a sold-out crowd of 29,000 supporters.

Here is the USMNT starting lineup:

Here is a rundown of the SBI coverage leading up to tonight’s match:

USMNT – El Salvador Preview

Who will, and who should start?

The SBI Show: Episode 325 (El Salvador-USMNT Preview)

Matt Turner set to start vs. El Salvador after Steffen 

Christian Pulisic to miss USMNT-El Salvador

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.


  1. Horrible field, horrible camera work, horrible play, horrible announcers. Felt more like a street scuffle than a soccer game. Really hard to watch.

  2. Meh.

    About the best I can say. When Tim Ream is your MotM, you know nobody else played well.

    Hopefully the fellas play a bit better Sunday.

  3. -Tim Ream was probably man of the match ironically, but I guess as one of two guys who’s actually been in these pressure-cooker games it shouldn’t surprise.

    -It’s a point on the road, but that’s perhaps USMNT’s best chance to win on the road and it was squandered.

    -That was very poor. Alex Roldan looked like he should be playing at Barcelona. Alex Roldan! USMNT was sloppy, impatient and outhustled. Blew opportunities that are usually buried. Really bad taste in the mouth. Not how you set a table, for sure.

    -And now you get the match that they’ve clearly based their squad rotation around for this window. Canada in Nashville. Better bring the A-game because if you find yourself absolutely needing to get three points out of San Pedro Sula…yikes.

    -Gooch put it best.

    -Objectively, this is a good result. But the #USMNT should be able to play an opponent the caliber of El Salvador anywhere and walk out 2-0 winners. Enough about “it’s CONCACAF,” at some point, you need to be winning games like this, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

    -It’d be one thing if they were pelting the ES goal with shots and just had bad luck, but they hardly generated anything to threaten. That’s damning.

    • Kind of my take.

      Not awful but not good enough either. I wanna see more and just…didn’t. Flashes. No real consistency and they let El Salvador slow it down and ugly it up and didn’t push the tempo and really control the game.

      Hopefully they progress because that wasn’t great.

  4. Too slow on the ball. Pefok might need to be tied to Turner. Turner has to hit long balls and Josh isn’t very good at winning them. Just like John Lester always had David Ross as his catcher. When were dangerous we brought the ball thru the middle and then wide. Unfortunately we let them dictate the space mostly tried to play up the sideline. How many ES kicks it out US throw, ES kicks it out, Us throw in ES kicks it out sequences did we have? Killed the flow.

  5. Here’s the bottom line. I don’t think there is one El Salvador player who is good enough to make our national team, but you wouldn’t know it from this game. The US were marginally better in the 2nd half, but this was a great disappointment. Among other things, too many bad decisions.

  6. Historically the US tries to earn at least a point on the road, and win at home. No different this cycle. A point is a point…on to Canada. WCQ here is just unattractive grind it out soccer. The youngsters got tough game experience tonight.

  7. Pefok to me looks better after 5 minutes than Sargent looked in his 55. Would like to see him start Sunday if he’s able to score or setup a goal.

      • @IV, The last response was to IV too. It’s so funny. You didn’t call out Yedlin who got beat uglily by Alex Roldan in the first half, but kept criticizing Brooks, Dest and Antonee Robinson because those are not IV’s boys. Funny, funny.

      • simon: i was defensive MVP on my college team and shut down people who won the hermann or played pro. yes, i think i was a better defender than that. that’s part of what drives me nuts “behind my keyboard.”

      • @IV, Wonderful! You should start against Canada on Sunday. See how the college defensive “MVP” does after all these self praise and trash talk.

      • you’re missing my point. his problem is he makes schoolboy level defensive errors. he flinches at crosses. he dives in and gets megged. these are things good defenders have drummed out of them by U16. he is not a good defender who gets sleepy. he is not a good defender with a foot speed problem. he arguably lacks basic defender instincts and reactions. you cannot fix that. you just play someplace else on the field. kind of like when i missed enough shots i got turned from a forward into a wing or back.

        i am an ACL past doing anything in a backfield. however i was pretty good at what i did so i will continue to call spades, spades, on defense. his errors are schoolboy problems. unfixable. he should not be where he is.

  8. Sorry not a fan of Dest. Does nothing on defense and on offense, one good play and then next 10 losses ball. Constantly holds ball until 3 defenders come on then losses the ball.

  9. Something up with Dest. Maybe in a few months his name will come up related to some special investigation of Euro betting organizations

    • This is CONCACAF WCQ baptism for the young US players. Konrad looks quite good, calm and poise with the ball, and has played better than Reyna and Aaronson thus far tonight.

  10. The pundits and commentators just can’t stop saying how hard it is to play in Concacaf. They need to just say we suck when we suck. ES is playing on the same field and they look a level better.

      • beach: no, dude, you run at the defender. hard. if he commits to you, you often don’t have a shot, but the pass goes wide open. if he tries to play the passing lane you have your shooting space. sargent jogs at him and makes a pass too early.

  11. With sloppy play in the final third from Aaronson, KDF and Dest, and no goal to show for it thus far, the problem becomes that there isn’t offensive firepower on the bench in midfield (ahem, Green) or the wings (ahem, Hoppe). Have two target forwards there, but doubt Pefok and Pepi are played together unless it’s a 4-4-2 all of the sudden and USMNT down late and needing a goal.

    The maximum offensively creative line up is out there right now. Better step it up and convert before everyone tires out…

    • Keep in mind we’re playing on the road, El Salvador’s home field, most likely poor field conditions too, hostile crowds. The ES policemen had to use the police shields to protect Reyna taking a corner kick. This is CONCACAF WCQ. It’s not as easy as we can ever imagine, or else the USMNT would have won easily in TNT during that dreadful WCQ back in 2017. Just my two cents.

  12. Now I remembe4 CONCAFAF qualifying. This is what it looks like – just grind it out. Look at that poor excuse for a field. Choppy surface and covered with bare spots. Disrupting every free kick to set the defense. Yep, this is it.

    Went to a US-El Salvador WCQ on home soil years ago. Same type of game, except grass on the field.
    Just get one in the net in the 2nd half, hop on a plane and head out of town.

  13. we look the young squad we are in a WC quali, a little hyper in attack and very direct through midfield with bouncing skipping balls, my opinion. But still plenty of chances created to have scored at least one by now. This is our region, choppy fouling opponents who dive all over the field and give cheap fouls from behind over and over while cryinbg that they did nothing.

  14. De la fuenta and dest seem like they would rather do something spectacular than good. It is like they always wait until there are two defenders so they can try to dribble by two people instead of just one. Those two and Arronson look like they have never played togethor before. Seem very out of sync to me. Hoping for a better 2nd half but I do think a point on the road is good. Keep a clean sheet get at least 1 point.

  15. Has this US team forgotten how to play? Sloppy, choppy, no flow, a lot of long balls that become turnovers. And their spacing on offense is pretty bad, too. I hope that free header that Robinson missed doesn’t come back to haunt us. Unless the US gets it together, scoring off a free kick may be our only option.

    • People were calling for more long balls but the US strikers with exception of maybe Pefok aren’t good at getting too them and our MFs aren’t very good at winning 2nd balls. That being said we’ve been pretty sketch at playing out. Qualifying rookies spending too much time on the ball. Aaronson not getting the ball enough in the middle of the pitch.

      • I have to watch on my phone and cant see well. Is Aaronson not getting calls or just falling alot? On the ground a lot.

  16. Ream instead of Brooks? What has Berhalter been smoking? This is worse than when we played Omar Gonzalez instead of Cameron in T&T.I sure as Hell hope it doesn’t matter.

    • Said it below Brooks played Sun. Training Tues. Travel Wed. Game Thursday. He hasn’t been real great in Central American humidity in the past either.

  17. Dynamic starting lineup, minus ream at left half. But he has experience, and that counts for a lot in a game like this KDF. Lets see the young guy explode onto the scene josh Sargent with a hat trick tonight

    • Umm.. even though I predicted Ream starting it wasn’t at Brooks’ expense. Holy crap. Anytime you can bench a Champs League Group Stage starting CB for a guy Fulham left to rot on the pine in a relegation battle, you gotta do it, I guess????

      Turner’s gonna be busy. I’ll still with Brooks goal off the bench as a winner, I guess.


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