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Jordan Morris equalizer helps USMNT claw back for draw in El Salvador

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The U.S. men’s national team was staring an ugly road defeat in the face at Estadio Cuscatlan on Tuesday night, but an inspired second-half and stoppage-time equalizer helped Gregg Berhalter’s side earn a precious road point and give his young team a positive ending to a busy June window.

Jordan Morris came off of the bench to deliver the equalizing goal as the 10-men USMNT earned a 1-1 draw with El Salvador in rainy conditions at Estadio Cuscatlan. Hugo Perez’s side took a shock lead just before halftime, but El Salvador conceded in the 90th minute as the Americans solidified their standing as group favorites when the final group-stage matches are played in 2023.

Morris was substituted on late in the second half with the USMNT chasing an equalizing goal and after watching several teammates be denied by El Salvador goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez, the Seattle Sounders forward delivered the tying goal. Luca De La Torre’s cross following a corner kick was headed home by Morris, giving the visitors a late equalizer after a night mainly filled with frustration.

The USMNT was put under pressure in the first half by El Salvador and conceded 10 minutes from halftime with Alexander Larin supplying the opening goal. Larin’s wicked shot from the right wing caught USMNT goalkeeper Ethan Horvath by surprise, sneaking into the roof of the net as Horvath watched in disbelief.

After conceding before halftime, the USMNT picked up its pressure in the second half with Mario Gonzalez being tested on several occasions. Gonzalez denied Yunus Musah’s shot in the 59th minute after the Valencia midfielder singlehandedly raced upfield in possession before being set up by Timothy Weah.

Things looked bleak for the USMNT with 20 minutes to go as Paul Arriola was sent off just nine minutes after coming onto the field. Arriola was given a straight red card for a lounging challenge on Larin inside of the El Salvador box, forcing the Americans to dig deep.

However, El Salvador was reduced to 10 men themselves in the 79th minute as Ronald Rodriguez was ejected after hauling down Musah on a USMNT counterattack opportunity. Gonzalez kept Musah at bay just moments later, punching away his free kick attempt which seemed set to find the top-left corner.

After Weston McKennie’s header was repelled by Gonzalez just before stoppage time, Morris delivered the tying goal to keep the USMNT’s unbeaten run in El Salvador alive.

The USMNT now enters a two-and-a-half month break before playing a pair of friendlies in September in what will be the team’s final tune-up matches before the World Cup kicks off in November in Qatar.

Comments

  1. Only significant thing from this game was the fight shown by the team.

    And it wasn’t surprising because we’ve seen that before.

    It was a fun game but otherwise not much can be taken from it.

    I’m almost certain that none of the games in Qatar will be played in a mud bath, which can be a great talent equalizer.

    As for the red card, once you saw the replay footage nothing about the outcome was surprising. Reds are very discretionary.

    It was a risky tackle by Paul and he paid the price.

    As for the idea that the USMNT should move to CONMEBOL. Right. They had a hard time getting out of CONCACAF and its crap teams.

    If this team was in CONMEBOL it does not make it to Qatar.

    Anyone who thinks away games in CONMEBOL are going to be any easier is crazy. I would submit they are even more violent in CONMEBOL and the travel would be far worse for the USMNT.

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  2. watching the replay on TUDN, and according to them, yes, a straight red deserved for Arriloa. LOL
    I love folks who come on here and quote the spanish commentators as if it’s gold. again, LOL

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    • Beach – I don’t understand Spanish so my opinion is not coming from anyone’s commentary but the rules as written allow for referee discretion in determining a “serious foul play” and take into consideration endangering another player but do not consider intent. When I first saw it I didnt think it was anything but on replay he did raise his leg after the tackle. Ultimately, the only opinion that matters is the refs. If he gives a red, it is a red and you have to play down. Scissors kicks that endanger players are against the rules specifically so Weah very easily could have gotten a red card but it was the refs discretion that it didnt warrant one and that was all that matter. Same for Adams body slam.

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      • Refs don’t tend to care about what you intended vs how it looked. Since roughly 2006 they have been intense about the cleats up regardless if you miss or don’t come off fully committed to the tackle. 20-30 years ago it might have been a yellow for looking bad but not really crunching the player and they’d have only cared about the studs if you went straight into the man like you meant it. But that’s changed and I see no wavering since. Personally I’m not going to beef because that ended up 10 v 10 and tied when he could have handed out cards like confetti and maybe had us down to 9 like that Italy game years ago. I mean, what Adams did was gratuitous and wasn’t even a soccer play. If someone went WWE on us and it wasn’t an awkward soccer playing accident I’d be looking for red.

      • Here’s what I’ll say about the Adams play. One they did the exact same thing to him earlier in the match and ES player even stepped on him seemingly by accident. Two if the ref blows his whistle earlier that doesn’t happen. Yes there’s play on but it was clear there wasn’t much of any advantage. If he just blows his whistle Tyler let’s go takes his yellow and we move on.
        ————————————
        If the ref thought he exposed his studs then I’m ok with it. I looked at 2 angles and one I thought no way his studs were up and one looks like maybe they were. I don’t think the ref had a very good angle to have went immediately to say studs were up without consulting his AR. Dr. Joe didn’t even hint at studs being the cause he just said excessive force because the tackle was so high. If it was just excessive force I didn’t know how he differentiated it from the 5 or 6 ES tackles that didn’t even get yellows or Weah’s bike. I think he was reffing it like a friendly; no warnings no yellows lots of play ons and then it had gotten chippy and he sees that hard challenge and is like “oh man somebody has to get this game under control”. Well you were the guy that brought it to that point.

    • I thought it was one of those that was kind of borderline between yellow and red. I think either call could be justified and I didn’t have a real problem with the red. Either way, it was a stupid foul to make since it wasn’t saving a goal or anything.

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  3. i didnt think Musah was that great in the first half but was very good in the 2nd half. Was it Musah’s play, the impact of McKennie, or both? Stock down – Cannon, Horvath, Adams, Arriolla, Wright. Stock up – Morris. I think Pefok, Hoppe, and Pepi all can fight for an air ball late like Morris showed so not sure he is ahead of any of them at this point but at least he showed better than Ferriera and Wright in the air.

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    • musah hasn’t actually produced much yet and i am not sure his fans or most USMNT fans get that the starting lineup to me feels very jones-bradley-beckerman, empty bucket team defense, which is the opposite of why i think the fanboys believe he’s out there. i think half the reason the mediocre LDLT feels refreshing is the lineup is deliberately physical, athletic, and a little sloppy. there is far better technique in the pool than LDLT and whatever musah’s fans think he feels to me like he’s out there to hustle end to end. half the reason the US struggles in the middle is the mids don’t seem to be out there to dole out assists, even mckennie that does produce some is more a box-crashing hybrid than a tiny spaces wizard.

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      • Who should replace Musah and LDT then? I get combined they have 5 assists and 0 goals but they are box to box guys who are typically tasked with getting the ball to the guy who will make the play. Jude Bellingham has 0g 0a for England, Toni Kroos since Yunus joined the USA has no goals or assists in 10 matches for Germany. In 49 matches Verratti has 3g 4a for Italy, Henderson in 68 matches over 12 years has 2g 9a for England. John O’Brien in his short career only had 3g and 2a in 32 caps.

  4. Same field for first half and second half. Difference was we didn’t play scared. Switched from a static 4 4 2 to a dynamic 4-3-3, spread the field, took it to them. Moved the ball just fine, even with the conditions. Lesson: play your game. Take it to the opponent. Possibly same in Qatar: I’m not sure we should pack it in, even against England. We are at our best when attacking and when pressing full-out. We are young enough and quick enough to recover when we need to. We should go for it 100% every game. I fell asleep happy to see what we did that second half.

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    • Yeah, we did better when we played a patient, build up game than over the top direct attack. With the 4-3-3 I think we spread out the field pretty good, making for more open spaces to move the ball into.

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      • Completely disagree. We did ES a favor with the nibble around the edges sideways passing, and they almost won. To me it was particularly odd to plan a short passing ground game in a mud pit. But then after all the passing buildup the final third was basically knock it wide and cross. Even the goal was about the jillionth low percentage cross in that just worked that time with the subs. Thought it was stereotypical Berhalter pseudo-technical soccer. I thought that game was begging for taking ES on and combining right through them, or going over the top. Until the equalizer I thought Hugo was going to send Greg a gift basket for the misguided game plan.

        Worse, per my expectations, ES isn’t going to just let you pass all day, they chopped and chopped, and even this sort of tentative sideways passing and crossing game feels more like a punch down strategy. Good teams aren’t going to let us pass all day and will be delighted if all we do is take the ball to the flag and cross like the Wales friendly. And it didn’t work on ES and they aren’t even good…..

  5. With Robinson overlapping all of the time it clogs that side up with players. Which in turn makes it harder for Pulisic to operate in 1 v1 situations. Also the US needs to do a better job at switching the attack to the other side quicker. All Morris does is score big goals. I have always said he is a striker not a winger. And should be looked at as a striker for this USMNT.

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    • Except he scored his goal as a wing. He’s not terrible as a CF but he’s not good either. There’s a reason Seattle plays Wil Bruin there instead of Jordan when RuiDiaz isn’t available. He doesn’t hold the ball up, he doesn’t make a variety of runs, he needs time and space to run at people with the ball at his feet that doesn’t happen as a CF.

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      • JR – he did go in and win some air balls in the box though. With VAR, first would have been a penalty and he scored the 2nd. I do think he showed something that none of Arriolla, Ferriera, or Wright can do (although Arriolla did against Panama but that was uncontested). They have to have someone who can do that if they are chasing a goal late. Probably otjers that are better but I dont think the 3 I mentioned are.

      • Right but he did that fighting in the air against the LB because he was playing on the wing at the back post. He’s not a good CF. If you place him against CBs instead of FBs he’s not going to win that ball. Cameron Carter Vickers is good in the air in the box we shouldn’t put him at the 9 because he has one skill that a 9 should have.

      • JR – I was not advocating for him to be played at the 9. When I saw the sub I was kind of thinking “why”? but he brought something to the team that the others werent bringing. I guess Gregg knew better than me. Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one scratching my head when he went in.

      • Sorry I apparently misunderstood your comment then. Once Weah had been subbed and Arriola red carded it was Morris, Acosta, or Roldan for offensive players. Given that three Morris made sense. I was kind of surprised Gregg even 10 v 10 that he went to a 3-3-3 which morphed to a 1–3-2-3 in possession. It was Long vs Gil 1 on 1 in the back.

    • I agree. People like Jedi but he’s a fraction of Pulisic’s danger. A dollar shouldn’t be waiting on a dime. Clear the space for Pulisic, Reyna, and Weah wide. Use Jedi and Dest’s attack more judiciously. I really don’t like it when the wings get pinched in to hand the wingbacks the chalk. I think it makes the pass to the wings awkwardly straighter upfield, more back to goal than we want, and like you’re saying, attracts multiple defenders to a space we want 1v1. Beyond that I feel like taking the ball to the flag all day is mindless and low percentage. I want more throughballs, combinations, taking defenders on……and there is this thing called shooting we can do top of the box occasionally. That and deadballs. How about some aggression and cheaper goals.

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  6. Have to say that I wouldn’t mind seeing Pulisic on the right side instead of the left. He just doesn’t seem very incisive on that side. Rarely do I see him taking players on. With Robinson overlapping I think Pulisic gets clogged up. Maybe try Reyna at LW with Pulisic on the right.

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    • Pulisic doesn’t want to play on the right, because then he’s going to the endline on his right foot. His assists would probably go up but his scoring would go down.

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  7. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
    It is not easy playing away games in CONCACAF…….
    Costa Rica bounced New Zealand (that had most of the possession) for a WC spot
    Honduras beat Canada ( with their full / big name line-up)
    Jamaica almost kept their lead against Mexico
    Memory, concentration, coordination, and conditions are just some of the psychological elements to consider and overcome when playing away games in CONCACAF…..and GB did it with this squad.
    Musah was an absolute beast in trying to control the game and move the attack from the midfield…..so was Adams, CCV and Mckennie physically!!!!

    El Salvador wanted these conditions this way, as it helped them limit or better yet “even out” our abilities / capabilities in an all out “mud fight”……the disastrous pitch, the unpredictable movement of the ball, the lack of traction, the rainy miserable conditions, the physical play……but the USMNT stayed driven, focus, and adapted by finding a way to get a point.

    This might sound crazy but even if Morris didn’t equalize I was a ACTUALLY SATISFIED with the FIGHT in the team

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  8. Once I saw the condition of the field and the pouring rain, I knew we were in for either a dismal loss or a dismal draw.

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    • Is anybody going to point out to Rob that we played maybe five white dudes (of 16 guys who saw the field) last night, and that it was actually a Latin-American player who got sent off with an extremely questionable red?

      And I dunno, but this seemed like a bad pitch. And the dudes in blue (who were admittedly brown) DID seem, sorry, maybe a touch kicky and inclined to throw elbows and dive like Greg Louganis while flopping around in mock agony. Maybe it’s just me.

      Hey, here’s one of those oppressed white dudes on the perfect pitch against the extremely polite El Salvadorians right here:
      https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/73QDWGUI6VHX7D5QU7EN56JEHQ.jpg

      You might, uhm, want to cool it with the SJW reflexes, dude.

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  9. Back in the 70’s this was our playground field. How can CONCACAF condone use of such a bad playing surface, they have no shame. US Soccer please leave CONCACAF, they cannot handle world class soccer, bunch of dilettante.

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    • I was actually thinking about that.

      Where would we go, if not CONCACAF? UEFA? Asia? Please God not CONMEBOL unless we can take Mexico, Canada, and three CONCACAF World Cup slots with us so our World Cup ambitions don’t take a hit…

      …and the light bulb goes off in my head.

      Because it dawns on me that we could indeed do just that, and World Cups are expanding to 48 and then probably inevitably 64 after that so qualification gets a lot more forgiving. We absolutely should jump to CONMEBOL. Only other team I’d allow in might – might! – be Costa Rica. Enough of this sh!t.

      Replace Gold Cups with Copa Americas, and regular, meaningful tilts against the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Chile, and skip this abysmal drek? Yes please. That’s how you get better, right there. And it’s SO much better on the eyeballs to watch. I mean, you’ll still wind up in Bolivia and Venezuela and Ecuador so your jungle safaris won’t be completely over, but there will at least be really awesome away games on the docket too.

      I think it’s time. We’ve got the talent to stand and compete at that level now and we should, and CONMEBOL could badly use the massive economic heft and glitzy venues of mainland North America.

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    • haha playground fields are better.
      As soon as I saw Ramos was the ref, pretty easy to know what was coming, and he didn’t disappoint. Never seen him call a game that doesn’t get out of control. No yellows for ES in the 1st half after all that…whatever. Biased Mexican ref, as usual. Our region is a POS

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    • How about FIFA stepping up and helping countries like El Salvador installing quality pitch with drainage systems in their national stadiums. They finally decided to bring VAR to Concacaf, How about stepping up and literally making it and even playing field. They have no reason not to their pockets are deep and if they really give a damn about the game then how about it.

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  10. .
    Quagmire … loblolly … mud bath …
    .
    Lalas was as scornful as usual about “pearl-clutching” fears of injury, but he might have been right that it was at least a useful chance to practice the “suck it up” mentality and keep cool heads. Musah passed that test well; others, maybe not so much. Hopefully a new coach will help him at Valencia.
    .
    Peroxide hair, side-shaven 1930s Nazi mohawks, also not assets. By November it might be time to just look like grownups. (Who have mothers and were not raised in barns.)
    .
    And what a happy night for Morris. Who knows, maybe he could continue with some good club form from here. As could anyone.
    .
    .
    Re Johnnyrazor:
    .
    “1. Pulisic and Robinson had no connection. Pulisic ignored the overlapping run all night.”
    .
    Interesting. Why do you think that was? Like many young, fast fullbacks, Robinson often seems more interested in getting forward to attack than getting back to defend, but he also seems good at it.
    .
    Pulisic seemed to be dropping pretty far back in the middle more than staying out wide, at least in the first half. Was that part of the game plan, or more a product of frustration, or was he trying to help defend and distribute in the absence of McKennie, or what? If he stays farther forward, or helps Robinson overlap to go forward, does that relieve any pressure to free up Weah on the other side?
    .
    Do you by any chance see Pulisic making similarly subpar decisions at Chelsea, and if so, again, why? Who could best help him get his focus back?
    .
    Weah tried hard to set up Musah, at least once when I wondered if he could have taken a shot himself. Understandably frustrated to come off, when he’s basically playing well and also just needs more time to connect. 45 + 45 ends up going by in a flash — there’s so little time to fix things in the heat of battle, but the 2nd half was at least better.
    .
    “3. When Hugo is done with ES and I think that won’t be long …”
    .
    I haven’t listened to the recording back, but I seem to recall the Univisión guys quoting him as saying in an interview that he would really like to stay for a significant time, to see his work in recruiting and coaching bear fruit in the longer term. It might be good to know you’ve made a difference and people appreciate you, even in a much smaller pond. It might be easier to have an impact in a smaller pond.
    .
    How do you feel about Luchi González as a USMNT assistant so far?
    .

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    • 1. I noticed it most in the second half. I’m not sure why it was, I just kept noticing Robinson would go by on the overlapping run hand out for Pulisic to play him in behind and the ball rarely came. Maybe CP didn’t trust that ball in the conditions, maybe it was he was just trying to do his thing. I think Jedi is our best current option at LB but I don’t think Pulisic and he combine very well.
      3. I just say that based on the problems between the ES federation and some of Hugo’s recruits. Also reports that the federation is pressuring to have more ES league players and that the American-Salvadoran players aren’t Salvadoran enough.
      Luchi: I’m not sure it’s hard to tell how much of a stamp any assistant is having on the squad.

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    • Nazis didn’t have fucking Mohawks. It’s named after Indians style of haircut it was used by US Army airborne.
      If you’re going to swing around insults get your facts straight instead of spouting off manure.

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  11. That dumpster fire turned into a helluva an event masquerading as a soccer game!
    Obvious shitshow aside I gotta say I was really pleased with the grit and tenacity in the 2nd half.
    Now that this window is done, how does GB get a rising Weah with his speed, Aaronson the energizer bunny, and Gio who may be the most talented of all of them; on the field??
    Inquiring minds want to know….

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  12. Some things that stood out to me.
    1. Pulisic and Robinson had no connection. Pulisic ignored the overlapping run all night.
    2. Yunus was our best player tonight. Was the only player that was just constantly attacking and putting ES under pressure, could have had 2 goals if not for quick reactions from the keeper.
    3. When Hugo is done with ES and I think that won’t be long. USSF needs to bring him back into the fold in some capacity.
    This was about as Concacaffy as a match can get. 2 red cards, terrible pitch, the ref walking Arriola over to the guy on the stretcher to show him the wound (which by the way didn’t appear to even be where Arriola made contact) uncalled handball, I had keeper ejection for 2 time wasting yellows on my bingo card but it never came. That will be one the guys tell about at the 20 year reunion, but it was hard to watch. I still think Morris is out and I still think striker will come down to who’s hot.

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    • It might be time to admit we just don’t have a viable pool when it comes to traditional center forwards and do what Germany did in Brazil 2014 and mostly go without one. Vacqui suggested going with Gio as a false 9…that could work, or we could slot Gio in left when he comes in since he’ll tuck inside into his preferred spaces anyhow and Jedi will rampage forward, and put Pulisic in as a false 9 who can wander all over the park to pick up the ball where he durn well feels like. Or you put Weah up top and let him do the chasing and hustling. Either way, you have to get those three on the field together somehow.

      Also Musah is just too durn good at breaking lines and advancing the ball. He’s almost become Mr. Indispensable and my two main quibbles with him – mainly, that he was a bit too finesse and needed some nasty in his game, and that he wasn’t very dangerous or assertive about scoring goals – just got answered emphatically this window. I mean, the dude is still 19 years old…what’s his CEILING like?

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    • -Pulisic doesn’t combine well with Robinson mostly because when CP plays him in the ball never comes back to CP. Not sure those two work very well with each other and it’s just not last nights match. Different skill sets! One thing for sure is teams defend in numbers on Pulisic’s side and try to force him wide. No wonder the middle of the field has so much space for Musah to exploit.
      -Musah was so good last night!!!! He is such an asset, especially if he can refine his passing and shooting in the offensive third. His ability to flip fields is vital to the US possession when quality opponents press. He needs to step up and take over set pieces. Pulisic is just not good at them. Musah’ s maturity and leading by example on the field can set the tone in a De Bruyne fashion.
      -Arriola’s red was deserved when you see how high cleats were after the tackle. Dumb retaliation!
      -Is Reggie Cannon injured? He looked so stiff, slow, and just not that interested?
      -Reyna and Dest need to heal up!

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      • TMR: maybe because of the conditions it showed more last night between CP and Jedi. I think CP would much prefer to have Dest at LB. Sergino doesn’t always look very excited to play there and both end up wanting the same inside move so not sure who great it works. As I said Jedi is the best option right now but he depends too much on his speed defensively and his crossing is hit and hope. He’ll hit an amazing ball and then have 15-20 nowhere near anyone. However with out him we might not have made WC, 2g 3a.
        ————————————————
        Arriola’s straight red was questionable mostly because the referee had not given out 1 card to that point for Cannon’s professional foul. The game had gotten physical and chippy because the ref had let sooooo much go. Given the ref was trying to point to some mark on the ankle I think he thought it was exposed studs not a high tackle. I was kind of shocked he gave a red to ES even though it was on obvious red.
        —————————————
        Yeah why have we never seen a Musah free kick before? Perhaps he’s not very good at passing FKs so he’s only a viable from shot range. Really need Gio back to take corners, although we did have 2 or 3 good chances on corners right? Wes header, Long header back into the middle, and maybe one other.
        —————————————
        I think the idea is to protect against countering teams the RB stays mostly home to protect when Jedi gets forward. I was worried though the last 5 minutes when basically Long had Gil all by himself with Reggie and Jedi getting forward. ES was clearly just trying to survive with a point but still nervy.

  13. Whoo, doggy. Best game of Jungle Ball ever. I mean, we had ourselves a pitch so muddy and soupy I think there was a hippo languishing somewhere in it after halftime, a weaksauce red card, a missed opponent handball in the box, and of course, the usual time-wasting stretcher injury followed by the miracle sideline healing five seconds later. One more and we’d have had CONCACAF bingo.

    Not sure that was actually a game of “soccer” we just watched, but once the team decided Hey Effit and decided to get dirty – I mean, literally – and compete, it actually got pretty durn entertaining.

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