USA vs. El Salvador live score, updates, highlights from CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

USA vs. El Salvador live score, updates, highlights from CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

The United States has put itself in a great position through eight matches of 2022 World Cup qualification.

The job, however, is far from done, as they get set for the match against El Salvador tonight in Columbus, Ohio. As the first of three matches in six days, the United States can begin tying a bow on a place in this winter’s big dance in Qatar.

Gio Reyna is injured, but otherwise the USMNT roster is loaded, with all the stars available for action. Head coach Gregg Berhalter and his team are salivating at the chance to finish what they started this World Cup cycle.

MORE: USA cold weather strategy is risky

“The group has had experience in World Cup qualifying, the group is more healthy now, and the group is confident,” Berhalter said about the squad heading into the El Salvador match. “All those things are in our favor, but at the end of the day it’s about performing on the field. We can do all the talking on the field, but it will be about showing it on the field.”

El Salvador, meanwhile, is in dire straits. The nation sits seventh among the eight remaining CONCACAF teams, eight points adrift of the intercontinental playoff spot. The room for error has been exhausted, and any more slips would pretty much extinguish the glimmer of hope still remaining.

“We know it’s an opponent that’s going to be aggressive, they’re going to be pressing really high, and we have to move the ball quickly,” Berhalter said during his pre-match news conference. “They were the best pressing team in the first eight games in terms of amount of presses, so it’s an aggressive team and we have to be prepared.”

Sporting News will follow the match live and provide score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

USMNT vs. El Salvador live score

  1H 2H Final
El Salvador 0


(All times Eastern)

HALFTIME: USA 0-0 El Salvador

What a weird first half. El Salvador, again, holds the United States scoreless, but it didn’t feel all that disappointing. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Walker Zimmerman performed extremely well, Timothy Weah was bright early, and both Sergino Dest and Christian Pulisic popped up a few times in the final segment.

For all that, and with 65% possession, no shots on target. El Salvador extremely skilled at bending but not breaking.

Berhalter tells ESPN at halftime they need more speed and more threat on the El Salvador back line. He also mentions they need to play a higher line to induce turnovers.

42nd minute: Chance, USA! Excellent work by Christian Pulisic under heavy pressure from Darwin Ceren through the middle works the ball wide left, and a solid cutback falls to Weah whose shot is just blocked enough to send it wide for a corner. Pulisic’s corner is wasted.

Pulisic has been shut down throughout this first half, but his skill was on full display there. The United States, somehow, for all its dominance, does not have a shot on target yet, which is worrying.

38th minute: Dest takes a wild swing at the ball near the top of the box and his shot is blocked. Home side looking dangerous but doesn’t have the final product just yet.

The United States has a real urgency to it, while also looking calm on the ball. In all honesty, the U.S. has dominated this match, in about as much as one can dominate a hard-fought CONCACAF battle. Midfield has been spectacular moving the ball up the field.

31st minute: Pulisic leaves a corner very short, wasted. That’s not the first time a cross from the U.S. has been short tonight. You have to wonder if the cold is affecting the ball’s constitution.

29th minute: Chance, El Salvador! U.S. loses possession down the right and it produces an opportunity for Alex Roldan who rifles his shot just wide of the far post. Turner at full stretch had it mostly covered and made Roldan’s window very small, but there was a window for him to hit. That’s a big opportunity for Richards.

U.S. with a few bad turnovers the last couple minutes.

26th minute: On a long throw from McKennie, Ferreira tries a bike and it goes very poorly. That ain’t it, kid. For what it’s worth, other than his finishing, Ferreira has been very bright. He’s been heavily involved but hasn’t yet cashed in.

19th minute: Chance, USA! Oh Ferreira, the first one was tough, but this one had to be in the back of the net. Dest with speed down the right, cross perfectly to the head of Weah, who flicks on to Ferreira at the far post. It’s over. He flubbed it awkwardly, trying to use his right foot with his body facing the goal, instead of using the left which would have been more natural. That’s a big miss.

18th minute: The refereeing in this match has been extremely poor so far. Near-side assistant referee has missed a few throw-in decisions, and now the official calls a foul on Zimmerman and talks to him, when he made no contact winning the ball in midfield. Got there first. Officiating from this Guatemala crew needs to improve.

16th minute: Chance, USA! Jesus Ferreira combines extremely well with Antonee Robinson on the left, and the young striker blasts a difficult volley high. He probably could have gone down and won a penalty, but he stays up and looks to finish the chance. Promising for the home side.

13th minute: Tyler Adams makes a critical intervention in the penalty area on an overlapping El Salvador run, and then Pulisic has a shot blocked on the other end after good buildup down the left. Both teams look up for scoring in this match. High energy start. El Salvador has gotten in the U.S. penalty area a few too many times, it’s somewhat worrying.

Christian Duenas of El Salvador comes to the sideline to remove his thermal underwear top, which is a hardo move. Ref makes him wait to re-enter the field.

9th minute: Timothy Weah has been bright early down the right. Crowd thought he won a corner on a good burst, but it’s a goal kick. Weah looks valuable down the flank, his pace is dangerous, and he could link up with Dest down the right.

He gets free again and does indeed win a corner this time. Corner is right to Walker Zimmerman all alone near the far post, but he heads it right into the ground disappointingly. That’s a half-chance for the U.S. gone begging.

5th minute: As expected, El Salvador pressing very high. U.S dealing with it fine for now, although there’s a laughable moment where Antonee Robinson absolutely cleans out teammate Christian Pulisic trying to break pressure down the left. Pulisic looked in some pain, but the two laugh it off.

El Salvador gets the ball into a dangerous area in the U.S. penalty area, but Walker Zimmerman pounces on the lateral ball to clear it. Sergiño Dest makes another vital defensive move moments later. The interventions were critical.

2nd minute: Yikes, nervy moment early for El Salvador goalkeeper Marvin Gonzalez, who blasted a clearance up against Jesus Ferreira, but the ball luckily comes right back to his feet.

Interesting stat given by Taylor Twellman on the ESPN broadcast: El Salvador has actually led for more minutes than the United States throughout World Cup qualifying so far despite their very opposite table positions.

1st minute: Under way! Three points or bust for the United States. Same for El Salvador.

Keep in mind: We have VAR tonight, for the first time in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

6:45 p.m.: Sam Borden reports on ESPN that El Salvador didn’t bring appropriate cold-weather gear, and had to go buy more at a sporting goods store once they arrived. He reports that they actually turned the temperature down in the locker room to get used to the cold! They certainly don’t experience this weather that often.

It looks so cold!

6:32 p.m.: No pressure, boys.

6:25 p.m.: Field looks pristine, as our Michael DeCourcy is on site for the match.

6:13 p.m.: Gregg Berhalter says that he chose Jesus Ferreira at striker because he has better hold-up play than Pepi, which will be important today in the tactical setup they’ve chosen. We’ll see how it works out for them.

6:00 p.m.: Lineups are in, and it wouldn’t be a USMNT match without some key surprises. First and foremost, Ricardo Pepi misses out up front, with FC Dallas teammate Jesus Ferreira earning the start up top. Chris Richards starts at the back in place of Miles Robinson.

El Salvador has a surprise appearance by Brayan Landaverde in midfield, as the 26-year-old earns just his fifth national team cap at the all-important defensive midfield spot.

Full rundown of lineups & team news below.

5:35 p.m.: Gyasi Zardes is ready for the winter weather, of which there is some currently in Columbus.

5:25 p.m.: Hype video!

5:05 p.m.: A number of USMNT players are in transfer limbo while on national team duty this January, but one has had his future sealed. Goalkeeper Matt Turner, who is likely to start tonight with Zack Steffen still in Manchester dealing with a back injury, has sealed a summer move to Arsenal, according to a host of reports earlier today. Congrats to Matt, a former undrafted free agent, on a massive step up.

5:00 p.m.: The USMNT will wear its broken glass home kit tonight, with the purple goalkeeper getup. I think this year’s kit is wildly underrated — a really fun, energetic design that’s not too busy as to be painful. I enjoy this one a lot.

USMNT vs. El Salvador lineups & team news

The only missing name on the U.S. roster for this international break is winger Gio Reyna, who has been unable to shake off a frustrating hamstring injury. DeAndre Yedlin is a spectator not in uniform after arriving late from Turkey due to an ice storm. Otherwise, the roster is full of top-tier U.S. talent with the likes of Christian PulisicWeston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Sergino Dest all available and ready to go. Pulisic, Adams, and McKennie all start in a match for the first time since 2019.

MORE: USMNT roster for January qualification matches

Matt Turner, who earlier today completed a switch to Arsenal, starts in goal with Zack Steffen still in England dealing with a reported back problem. Walker Zimmerman starts at center back, partnered with Bayern Munich youngster Chris Richards, with Miles Robinson saved for other matches.

Yunus Musah, having scored for Valencia against Atletico Madrid in his last match, will be the one to join Adams and McKennie in a three-man midfield. Ricardo Pepi was expected to lead the U.S. attack, but his FC Dallas teammate Jesus Ferreira makes his first World Cup qualifying start up top instead. He’s supported by Pulisic Timothy Weah who is preferred to Brenden Aaronson.

USMNT starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left):  Turner (GK) — Dest, Zimmerman, Richards, A. Robinson — Adams, McKennie, Musah — Pulisic, Ferreira, Weah.

USMNT subs (9): Johnson (GK), Arriola, Zardes, Aaronson, M. Robinson, Morris, Roldan, McKenzie, de la Torre, Pepi, Cannon, Acosta.

In the 0-0 draw between these two teams in the reverse fixture, El Salvador manager Hugo Perez opted to clog the midfield and make life difficult for the Americans, who only held 49 percent possession despite the talent gap. Perez is likely to do that again, using either a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1, but it could face issues along its back line.

Center back Ronald Rodriguez, who recently signed with USL Championship side FC Tulsa and was excellent the last time these teams met, has not been able to secure a visa and Eriq Zavaleta reportedly has a toe infection, although he makes the bench. Eduardo Vigil and Roberto Dominguez are next in line to replace them.

There were options in midfield, and its Darwin Ceren and Brayan Landaverde in a rotation of the squad from last time out. A positive COVID-19 test keeps Christian Martinez out.

On the wing, 20-year-old Enrico Duenas, who hails from Dutch club Vitesse, has seen time in every World Cup qualifier, and Alex Roldan — brother of U.S. player Christian Roldan — plays on the opposite flank. Joaquín Rivas is a consistent presence up top, but has failed to score in World Cup qualifying after a three-goal performance in last summer’s Gold Cup.

El Salvador starting lineup (4-4-2, left to right):  Gonzalez (GK) — Larin, Vigil, Dominguez, Tamacas — Duenas, Landaverde, Ceren, Roldan — J. Henriquez, Rivas.

El Salvador subs (9): Alguera, Carabantes, Villalobos, Zavaleta, Flores, Bonilla, Calvillo, Rivas, K. Reyes, Portillo, W. Martinez.

How to watch USMNT vs. El Salvador

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 27
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN2
  • Spanish-language TV: UniMas, TUDN
  • Streaming: FuboTV, ESPN+ (subscription required)

The United States vs. El Salvador match from Lower.Com Field in Columbus, Ohio, as part of CONCACAF World Cup qualification is avaliable on TV across the United States on ESPN 2, or streaming on ESPN+. The match is also available to stream via FuboTV, which is accessable by a free trial for new users.

USMNT vs. El Salvador betting odds, pick & prediction

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Pick: USA win & under 2.5 goals (+140)

Prediction: USA 2-0 El Salvador

  • Moneyline:  USA -500 / Draw +500 / El Salvador +1200
  • Spread (Asian Handicap): USA -1.5 (-130) / El Salvador +1.5 (+110)
  • O/U 2.5 total goals:  Over -110 / Under -115
  • Both teams to score: Yes +200 / No -280

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.